Dakota Johnson sounded off on the industry in a new interview with L’Officiel ahead of the release of her superhero tentpole “Madame Web.” The actor reflected on bringing her indie drama “Daddio” to a film festival last year, where she says it took a whole lot of effort to get it sold despite it starring her and Oscar winner Sean Penn in the lead roles.
“We made a movie called ‘Daddio‘ that was sold at Telluride to Sony Classics, which was amazing, but it took a lot of fighting to get that made,” Johnson said. “People are just so afraid, and I’m like, ‘Why? What’s going to happen if you do something brave?’ It just feels like nobody knows what to do and everyone’s afraid. That’s what it feels like. Everyone who makes decisions is afraid. They want to do the safe thing and the safe thing is really boring.”
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Johnson said that she is “discovering that it’s really fucking bleak in this industry. It is majorly disheartening.”
“The people who run streaming platforms don’t trust creative people or artists to know what’s going to work, and that is just going to make us implode,” she continued. “It’s really heartbreaking. It’s just fucking so hard. It’s so hard to get anything made. All of the stuff I’m interested in making is really different, and it’s unique and it’s very forward in whatever it is.”
The actor’s “Madame Web” press tour also took her to NBC’s “Today,” where she expressed her early frustrations with the nepo baby discourse. Johnson is the daughter of actors Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith. During her recent “Saturday Night Live” hosting stint, Johnson poked fun at her nepo baby legacy.
“When that first started I found it to be incredibly annoying and boring,” Johnson said. “If you’re a journalist, then write about something else. That’s just lame. The opportunity to make fun of it I jumped at.”
While Johnson broke through in the studio-backed “Fifty Shades” trilogy, she’s earned acclaim for herself as an actor in independent dramas such as “A Bigger Splash” and “The Lost Daughter,” among other acclaimed titles. She recently told Games Radar that she “never thought” she’d end up in the “superhero hero world” as the lead of “Madame Web.”
“When the script came along, I loved the idea of a superhero being a young woman whose mind was extremely powerful. I liked the dynamic between her and these three young women; how they genuinely protect and support and care for each other,” Johnson said about taking a chance on the superhero genre. “And so, it just seemed different to me and it was way more grounded and real and gritty. I just thought it was an interesting way to experience that world.”
Johnson told Entertainment Weekly earlier this month that making “Madame Web” was a wild experience as she had never acted in so many CGI-oriented scenes before.
“I’ve never really done a movie where you are on a blue screen, and there’s fake explosions going off, and someone’s going, ‘Explosion!’ and you act like there’s an explosion,” Johnson said. “That to me was absolutely psychotic. I was like, ‘I don’t know if this is going to be good at all! I hope that I did an okay job!’”
Johnson will be back in the world of indie films soon as the star of a new A24-backed romantic-comedy from “Past Lives” Oscar nominee Celine Song. Johnson is headlining the film alongside Chris Evans and Pedro Pascal.
“Madame Web” premieres in theaters Feb. 14. from Sony.
Dakota Johnson speaks to @hodakotb about ‘Madame Web,’ how she feels about the trajectory of her career, how her dad Don Johnson cut her off financially, her thoughts on the ‘nepo baby’ label and more.
And you’re always invited to join us all day, Dakota! pic.twitter.com/yd5grJOdDS
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) February 7, 2024
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