Transcription by Us
Reprising her role as Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades Darker, Dakota Johnson seems thrilled to be back for the second instalment of the much-hyped film trilogy. As the daugther of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, and the granddaughter of Golden Globe-winning star Tippi Hedren, acting has always been in Dakota's blood.
Warm and friendly, Dakota seems to be finally getting to grips with her superstardom, yet she still finds the concept of having fans 'strange'. The 27-year-old star also admits that the third and final instalment of the movie franchise, Fifty Shades Freed, out next year, will be the last time that she works with co-star Jamie Dornan. "If we did [any more], it would be all about Christian and Ana back together, and why do that to ourselves?" she says.
Jamie, 34, recently rubbished claims that his marriage to wife Amelia Warner, also 34, has suffered after filming steamy sex scenes with Dakota, calling the rumours "disgusting". And it seems that Dakota, too, is rising above the gossip, saying that fellow actress Amelia is "the coolest".
Here, Dakota opens up about her chemestry with Jamie, why she's made her parents promise not to watch her rauchy scenes and what she'll miss most about the Fifty Shades films...
How do you feel about coming back and doing it all over again?
Dakota: The pressure is gone - well, almost gone! We're comfortable, confident in ourselves. People liked what we did in the first movie when everything felt like a risk, everything felt nerve-warcking. How is this going to be received? How will fans take this? So knowing that was covered and ticked off is a big relief.
You an Jamie seem to be really close...
Dakota: It's genuinely one of the fastest, closest friendships I've ever made in my life, just based on the amount of time we've actually known each other. I love Jamie, I trust him and I really couldn't tell you if I could have done this without him.
What's been the best thing about working with Jamie?
Dakota: He's my dream partner and supported me. I've supported him. It's a lot to ask of two people, of two actors, to take on these highly emotional, sexual situations, but I think we've done us proud. He'll be my friend for the rest of my life. I adore him, I adore his wife and his gorgeous babies. They're the most perfect little family unit.
Did you spend a lot of time with his family?
Dakota: That was probably the best part of the shoot, getting to hang out and play with them (Jamie and Amelia have three-year-old daugther Dulce and one-year-old daughter Elva). So cute.
Was it weird filming love scenes with Jamie, then hanging out with his wife?
Dakota: No, she's the coolest.
Anastasia seems more mature in this movie. What was your take on that?
Dakota: I loved her arc from very innocent, very inexperienced, a lack of life experience and you see this emotional, spiritual, intellectual and sexual journey from the beginning to an empowered, strong badass with integrity and grace. There's not a moment where I think she compromises herself. That journey was fascinating.
Jamie says the sex is better in this one - Do you agree?
Dakota: The sex is definitely better in this one. She knows more what she wants. She's more confident now and has an understanding of what's making him tick. Their connection is stronger, their emotions are deeper. That makes sex better, doesn't it?!
Have you lost more of your inhibitions this time around?
Dakota: I don't really know if I had very stronf inhibitions. I have no problema with nudity, never have, never will. I think the human body is beautiful. I grew up being told to love your body and be confortable with yourself.
Have you always wanted to follow in your parents' footsteps?
Dakota: It was what I always dreamed of, it's what makes me happiest.
What advice did they give you, or indeed your grandmother, about the industry?
Dakota: My grandmother is an idol to me, she gives me so much inspiration and strenght from her words and how she navigated this industry.She tells me to trust my instincts, trust myself and be myself.
Have your parent seen the films?
Dakota: No, that is not happening, nor will it ever happen! That's hard for them, just this huge movement around these movies that I'm a part of, but not being able to watch them. I know it's tough. But I made them promise and they respect that.
You have an amazing scene with Kim Basinger whre you throw a drink in her face. What was that like to shoot?
Dakota: I hated it! It felt awful, it's Kim Basinger, for God's sake. I kept apologising but she was like: "Let's go again, go nuts!" I wanted to practise on Jamie, but it would have messed him up for the scene (laughs)! It's definitely one of the strangest moments in my career and probably my life.
How has your life changed since the first movie came out?
Dakota: It's weird that people seem to know so much about me. That's very confronting and I don't think I'll ever get used to that. This feeling that I don't fully belong to myself any more is very strange and accosting. And I'll never find that normal. I'll never think, that's just part of my life.
You're done filming the Fifty Shades movies now. What will you miss most?
Dakota: Jamie. I'll miss his jokes. Most of them are funny - some not so much!