The Surprising Story Behind Dakota Johnson and Riley Keough's 'Lifelong' Friendship

Dakota Johnson told 'Vanity Fair' in August 2023 that she and Riley Keough share an "understanding" of what it's like growing up in famous Hollywood families

<p>Steve Eichner/WWD/Penske Media via Getty</p> Riley Keough and Dakota Johnson

Steve Eichner/WWD/Penske Media via Getty

Riley Keough and Dakota Johnson

Dakota Johnson and Riley Keough are friends for life.

Johnson and Keough not only share the same age of 34 — they also come from similar backgrounds in famous families. Johnson, best known for her role in the 50 Shades movies, is the daughter of actors Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, while Keough is Elvis Presley and Priscilla Presley's granddaughter and the daughter of the late Lisa Marie Presley.

In an August 2023 Vanity Fair profile of Keough, Johnson recalled meeting Keough at an In-N-Out parking lot when they were both 16 years old in 2005. "It was like finding a soulmate," she said.

“When I met her, I felt this thing that is so impossible to articulate, growing up in a famous family. There was this solidarity. Understanding."

"We would just smoke cigarettes with our moms. And they’d call each other and be like, ‘I guess she’s going to stay with you for the next four days. Call me if she needs a ride,' " Johnson recalled at the time. "I’d go to Riley’s and then leave a week later. I don’t know if that’s normal, but, yeah, just running around L.A., sharing clothes, smelling like Nag Champa. Most of it involved music festivals and dating musicians, of course.”

Related: Chris Martin and Dakota Johnson 'Got Engaged Years Ago' Says Source, But Were in 'No Rush to Get Married'

Amy Sussman/Getty Images Dakota Johnson and Riley Keough
Amy Sussman/Getty Images Dakota Johnson and Riley Keough

In that VF profile, Johnson also revealed that she and Keough "started a joke band called Folky Porn" when they were 19 and living in New York City. 

“Riley and I both had blond hair. We were hiding out in New York after breakups," she told the outlet. "We would do three-part harmonies with my brother, Alexander, on Hank Williams songs and John Prine songs, and we’d film them on Photo Booth. Thousands and thousands of takes.”

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Months after that interview, Keough shared her own recollection of meeting Johnson as teenagers and their time performing together as Folky Porn during her April 15 appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

"I would come to Hollywood to hang out with friends, go to the Sunset Strip, or hang out in In-N-Out parking lots," she said, while recapping growing up just outside Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley. "I don't now, I did — it happened a few times. . . I actually met Dakota Johnson in the parking lot of In-N-Out."

Related: Riley Keough Sings on Single Off the Sasquatch Sunset Soundtrack, Which She Calls 'Most Beautiful Song She's Ever Sung'

<p>Presley Ann/Getty Images for Vacheron Constantin</p> Dakota Johnson and Riley Keough on June 15, 2022

Presley Ann/Getty Images for Vacheron Constantin

Dakota Johnson and Riley Keough on June 15, 2022

"We met in the parking lot, yeah, at In-N-Out. And then we became very good lifelong friends," she added, recalling that the band came while "we were both having a bit of a depressive trip in New York." 

"We would do cover songs — like Bob Dylan, a lot of Bob Dylan," Keough continued. "And then we would video ourselves on Photo Booth. And then her brother would play guitar and then the videos went nowhere. We would sing together — no one was harmonizing or anything, just together."

"We have often talked about quitting acting and taking it on the road," she added, joking that she and Johnson "would be great at opening for Coldplay," whose lead singer Chris Martin is Johnson's longtime romantic partner

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