dakota johnson | Take your destiny in hand


For Cha Cha Real Smooth, Cooper Raiff’s second feature film, Dakota Johnson wears the producer cap for the first time, as well as serving as an actress. She has never been so proud of a film of her in her life. Maintenance.

Posted at 6:00

Marc-André Lussier

Marc-André Lussier
The print

Dakota Johnson has always been immersed in the world of film and television. Normal, you will say, when your mother’s name is Melanie Griffith (working girl, Something wild), that your father, Don Johnson, was one of the greatest cold of American television in the 1980s, thanks to Miami viceand that your grandmother, Tippi Hedren, is the Hitchcockian heroine of Birds.

At the age of 10, Dakota already had a small role in Crazy in Alabamaa feature film starring his mother, directed by the then stepfather, Antonio Banderas.

“As far as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be an actress and act in films”, she confides during a videoconference interview granted to The print. I have had very beautiful models. “

Observing my parents I understood that at a certain level it was possible to be more involved in projects, even to have a creative contribution. Hence my desire to found a production company.

dakota johnson

An immediate complicity

Cha Cha Real Smooth is the first title ever in the catalog of TeaTime Pictures, the house that the actress manages with Ro Donnelly. It is also the latter who, seduced by the idea of ​​her that she was submitted to her by the director and actor Cooper Raiff (shit house), although a scenario has not yet been written, he insisted on hiring his accomplice right away.

« J’étais alors en Grèce pour le tournage de The Lost Daughter [Maggie Gyllenhaal], remembers Dakota Johnson. I met Cooper for the first time Enlarge and I liked it right away. You have something very special, a unique point of view. I was seduced as soon as he gave me the title of his film, which I find brilliant. When we started working together, the complicity quickly took hold. “

In this story of a 22-year-old who becomes attached to a 10-year-old woman, the mother of a preteen with autism spectrum disorder, Dakota Johnson was able to collaborate on the script in a concrete way. During the writing phase, Cooper Raiff (who plays the main role) has in fact transcribed the fruit of the discussions he had with the actress about the characters.


Cooper Raiff and Evan Assante inside Cha Cha Real Smooth

“Cooper was very open to the idea,” he explains. In our company, we want to work closely with the writers and support them creatively. “

It was also important to me that the female characters were well written, that Domino, the woman I play, was portrayed in a complex way, as she deserves. The dynamic between all the characters has been carefully considered.

dakota johnson

A new step

The role of Anastasia Steele in the trilogy of Fifty Shades of Gray Having pushed her to the highest echelons of stardom, Dakota Johnson believes it is time for her to take a new step by taking her own destiny in her own hands as well.

“There was still a moment I wanted to produce, but nothing is obvious. People find it difficult to believe in you in this ability, because they feel that this envy is like a vain dream. I still meet people who don’t take me seriously, but I’ll get there! ”


Dakota Johnson with Vanessa Burghardt, who plays her daughter, in Cha Cha Real Smooth

Having practically never stopped touring since then The social network [David Fincher], which marked the actress’s transition into adulthood, Dakota Johnson obviously had all kinds of experiences on sets, often hilarious, sometimes not so. We perceive in her a real concern to offer a stimulating job to the artisans who work on her projects.

It has often happened to me to participate in films as an actress which, upon arrival, were completely different from the ones we had discussed. It is such a strange experience. Sometimes it’s disappointing and other times it’s cool, but now I enjoy being involved in a project from start to finish.

dakota johnson

“I also wanted, he continues, to found a company whose golden rule is to promote a healthy environment, truly devoted to the art of cinema. On several sets, where hierarchy was very important, I felt alone, excluded. They didn’t tell me anything. On the contrary, I want a space where all artisans feel equal, where the value of the work of each of them is recognized. It should be fun to make a movie, especially since we have the privilege of being able to practice this profession. “

A first success

The experience of this very first production seems convincing. In addition to receiving the Audience Award at the Sundance festival, held virtually in January, Cha Cha Real Smooth was purchased from Apple TV +. Earlier this year, this broadcaster distinguished itself by winning the Oscar for Best Picture thanks to TAIL (Sian Heder).


Dakota Johnson at the premiere of Cha Cha Real Smoothpresented last Monday at the Tribeca Film Festival, in New York

“Obviously I had seen the film several times before, but that was only when I got to see it Cha Cha Real Smooth with the public – it was at the South by Southwest festival – that I was able to measure its impact “, indicates the one who will hold the star of Madame Weba feature film by Marvel Studios.

“I was more proud then, I think, than I’ve ever been in my life. Seeing people’s reaction so positive, their emotions, their hearts light up. It really is the coolest feeling in the world! “

Cha Cha Real Smooth is available exclusively on Apple TV +.


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