Dakota Johnson on sex toys, sexual journeys and what her parents think about 50 Shades

By Michele Manelis

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey, left, and Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele in "Fifty Shades Darker." (Doane Gregory/Universal Pictures via A
This image released by Universal Pictures shows Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey, left, and Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele in "Fifty Shades Darker." (Doane Gregory/Universal Pictures via A

What made going back to the world of 50 Shades exciting and different?
That was part of the thing that was intriguing to me, doing the three films. The first one we are setting up this story and setting up the characters and telling people who they are and what they are doing.

This one it was more about really discovering Anastasia's arc as a woman, her sexual journey and her trying to figure out who she is and what she likes alongside this other person, who is so steadfast in his goals.

I guess it was more just focusing on the details and the relationship between the two people.

I read an interview recently where you talked about sex toys. What is your favourite?
That is so inappropriate! [laughs]

You said they are beautiful...
Doing a film where there is such a prevalent concept, you do research. I did my research and learnt as much as I could about the lifestyle and about all of the things that go along with it.

There are some really beautiful aspects but I don't have a favorite sex toy [laughs].

When you did the first film you were just getting to know co-star Jamie Dornan, how was it doing the second and third movies?
We were lucky to shoot them back to back. We spent six months and became so close and that's a lucky thing to have happen. Especially in this situation, because we are so intimate.

Even the scenes that are not sexually explicit are emotionally intimate.

The fact that we get along and can hang out outside of work and do stuff on the weekends, it's a lot nicer.

How do your parents feel about these films?
Well, I think, my dad was pretty protective. But when it came to me doing this job, they kind of didn't have a choice. I was pretty adamant.

I think they would like to be able to see these movies that have put me in this place in my life, but because it's pretty inappropriate... [laughs]

They don't judge me on what projects I decide to do. They judge me on what kind of human I am to other humans.

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele, left, and Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in "Fifty Shades Darker." (Doane Gregory/Universal Pictures via A
This image released by Universal Pictures shows Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele, left, and Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in "Fifty Shades Darker." (Doane Gregory/Universal Pictures via A

These films deal with a lot of issues of control. With the woman's movements happening all over the world right now, how do you balance control? Standing up for yourself and finding a voice with so many people trying to mould who you are?

I've realised recently that I abstain from social media and trying to explain who I am to the world, because I don't feel that I need to explain who I am to anyone. If there's some sort of perception of me, then that's what that is.

My job is to be an actor and make movies and hopefully produce films and direct films, but it's not to try to make sense to anyone.

I don't know, I'm still figuring it out. I guess I have found power in knowing that I don't need anybody to truly understand me, because that is the last privacy I have really.

The Lowdown


Who: Dakota Johnson
What: The erotic drama 50 Shades Darker
When: In cinemas today

- NZ Herald

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