What You Never Knew About Dakota Johnson

Ever since her days as Anastasia Steele in the infamous, ultra-racy "Fifty Shades of Grey" series, Dakota Johnson has been one of Hollywood's most recognizable faces. The star has also appeared in "The Social Network," "The Five-Year Engagement," and Maggie Gyllenhaal's "The Lost Daughter." She's next set to star in the latest adaptation of Jane Austen's "Persuasion" alongside Richard E. Grant and Henry Golding (via IMDb).

Whether you know her from her acting work, or you simply recognize her from one of the popular Internet memes she has inspired — limes and Ellen DeGeneres, anyone? — Dakota Johnson is, without a doubt, one of those actresses that just seems to keep popping up everywhere. Fans of Johnson may already know a little about her and her career, but you may be surprised to learn some of the lesser-known facts about her. For instance, did you know that she lives next door to a late-night host and comedian? Or that she lost out on many roles before "Fifty Shades of Grey"? Curious to learn more? Here is what you never knew about Dakota Johnson.

Dakota Johnson gave Jamie Dornan tips when working on the Fifty Shades of Grey movies

These days, most sex scenes are carefully choreographed and overseen by a trained sex coordinator. However, when the "Fifty Shades of Grey" series was filmed, it seems that the actors had a lot of opportunities to give their own input.

As Jamie Dornan, who played Christian Grey, told Conan O'Brien on "Conan," Dakota Johnson actually had quite a few notes on his performance in the raunchier scenes. "I think Dakota would be quicker to give me a note than the director," he said. Apparently, she had a lot of tips during filming when it came to how Dornan was removing her underwear! As he explained, he had been ripping off her underwear, but Johnson helped him to be a little more sexy. "There is a more delicate and sensual way to do it," he said, "which is thumbs to the sides and then you sort of shimmy it down." Wow, sounds like Johnson had some very detailed tips for Dornan on set!

This is what Dakota Johnson read on the set of the Fifty Shades of Grey movies

We think it's fair to say that "Fifty Shades of Grey" wasn't exactly the most intellectual movie of all time. Nevertheless, it turns out that Dakota Johnson was an avid reader while on set. As director James Foley explained to Vogue, she had a habit of bringing a copy of The New York Times to set.

Apparently, she'd pour over it while getting her makeup done. By the sounds of things, Johnson would get engrossed by the stories she read, but she never let it distract her from her performance. "She would talk about the stuff happening in Crimea and then, the minute I said 'Action,' do things with her character that I was never expecting, but with total authority and authenticity," Foley recalled. Wow, it sounds like Johnson is a real professional on set who knows how to turn it on when she needs to — no matter what she's just been reading!

She loved this band as a kid

Most of us can remember our first favorite band. For Dakota Johnson, her first big music obsession was The Spice Girls. As she explained on "The Late Late Show with James Corden," "I listened to a lot of like Nirvana and Pearl Jam and the stuff that teenage boys in the '90s listened to, but then I was like, 'I gotta stay in my lane,' so I just went full Spice Girls."

Johnson was so obsessed with the girl group that her dad took her and a friend to see them in concert when she was young. She even got to go backstage to meet them and get a picture with them "all in their robes and hair and makeup," as she put it. Unfortunately, when she finally got the picture developed, all of the Spice Girls' heads were cut off, so she doesn't even have proof of their meeting!

Dakota Johnson lives next door to this famous talk show host

Like most people in the movie business, Dakota Johnson lives in Los Angeles. Unsurprisingly, she has some pretty famous neighbors. You may not have realized, however, that right next door to Johnson is the house of Jimmy Kimmel.

By the looks of things, the pair love being neighbors. In 2020, Kimmel even invited Johnson for an "over the fence" interview because of the pandemic. In the hilarious interview, the pair came across as being great friends, joking about Kimmel's kids and Johnson's domestic habits. And when Kimmel asked her if he's the best out of all her previous neighbors, she agreed with him, though that may not be saying much considering that Johnson isn't always so keen on her neighbors, even saying, "The ones on the other side suck."

In another interview with Kimmel, Johnson went into more detail about her other neighbors. Apparently, while at a local party, Johnson, Kimmel, and the other neighbors were chatting when Johnson accused them of towing her grandfather's truck. As Kimmel said, "It was very clear that, yes, they did tow your grandfather's truck." Wow, sounds like Johnson and Kimmel are great neighbors to each other — unlike Johnson and her other neighbors!

This was her scariest moment on set

As anyone who has seen "Fifty Shades of Grey" knows, Dakota Johnson is clearly a very brave actress. However, while Johnson may not be afraid of filming some pretty intimate sex scenes, she does get afraid when she has to sing on screen.

On "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," Johnson explained that while filming "Our Friend," she had to film a singing scene. "That was so scary," she said, explaining that she got a bit of stage fright. In one scene, Johnson's character was on stage in a community theater production. As she recalled, the song had already been recorded, and she was being filmed from behind while playing her pre-recorded song. "I had a panic attack that manifested in all the ways that it does, that it can, so, like, I just took off running... I was running around and then I just started laughing hysterically... then started crying," she said. Johnson was so scared that, as she put it, "extreme flight mode" kicked in. 

Wow, it sounds like Johnson was seriously terrified of filming that scene!

Dakota Johnson comes from a pretty impressive family

Ever thought that Dakota Johnson looks a little familiar? Well, that may be because she has some very famous relatives! As Vogue reported, her grandmother on her mother's side is Tippi Hedren, who you may remember as Melanie in the famous Alfred Hitchcock movie "The Birds." In 2020, Johnson told Graham Norton that she was still very much in touch with her grandmother, who is in her 90s — and she confirmed that her grandmother still lives with dozens of lions and tigers.

Johnson's mother is Melanie Griffith, whom you may remember from the film "Working Girl." Her father is Don Johnson, the actor known for "Miami Vice." Her stepfather is Antonio Banderas, best-known for the films "Philadelphia," "The Mask of Zorro," and "Evita." Johnson also has two stepsisters, Stella Banderas and Grace Johnson, who are well-known models. As Vogue explained, with all of these famous family members, Johnson definitely comes from one of the most stylish, well-known family trees in Hollywood.

This was Dakota Johnson's insane workout routine for Fifty Shades Darker

Dakota Johnson has always been in excellent shape, but, as her trainer, Gunnar Peterson, explained to Vogue, she needed to up her game for the "Fifty Shades of Grey" franchise. "The joke was, 'I'm about to be naked for six months,'" Peterson said. As Peterson and Johnson's other trainer, Kacy Duke, explained, Johnson had a pretty intense regimen in the run-up to filming.

Her workouts — which Peterson dubbed the "Triple A" — targeted the abs, arms, and a**. She had one tough plank routine that included push-ups, mountain climbers, and sliders. She had a few lunging routines along with a weighted squat routine and even a glute workout called the "Master Blaster." We have to say, this all sounds seriously painful — but, based on Johnson's toned physique in the "Fifty Shades of Grey" movies, whatever she was doing was clearly working.

She made her fans angry when her tooth gap disappeared

If you've been a fan of Dakota Johnson for a while, you may remember that, back in the day, she looked pretty different. As she explained on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," she used to have a small gap between her two front teeth. In 2019, the gap mysteriously disappeared — and some fans weren't so happy about it! "It's really stressing me out," she even said.

Apparently, contrary to what many fans thought, Johnson didn't get surgery to fix her teeth. Instead, she removed a permanent retainer. "I was having a lot of neck problems recently, so my orthodontist, she decided that it would be a good idea to take it off," she explained. When Johnson had the retainer taken out, her gap apparently closed by itself. "I'm really sad about it, too," she said. For one thing, Johnson explained, she now had to deal with food getting stuck in her teeth! 

In fact, Johnson even jokingly asked for "privacy" while she mourned her tooth gap. Sounds like she was just as upset about the tooth gap as her fans were.

Dakota Johnson is dating this famous singer

Dakota Johnson tries to be pretty private about her romantic life, but, since 2017, her relationship with Coldplay's Chris Martin has been public information (via Us Weekly). The pair has been spotted in public together numerous times — vacationing in Europe, going to concerts, having dinner. Johnson has even become a part of Martin's family, hanging out with his ex-wife, Gwyneth Paltrow, and their kids, Apple and Moses.

Johnson's mother, Melanie Griffith, even spoke publicly about the relationship. "I love my daughter's boyfriend," she told People in 2019. "I think they're an awesome couple." Paltrow has also voiced her approval, telling Harper's Bazaar, "I love her. I can see how it would seem weird because it's sort of unconventional." In 2020, rumors spread online that the couple was engaged when Johnson was seen wearing a massive ring on that finger. Then, in 2021, more rumors spread that the couple was even living together (via the Daily Mail). Whatever the truth may be, it sounds like this couple is in it for the long haul.

Dakota Johnson has a special relationship with music

One thing Dakota Johnson really loves is music. As she explained to Mindfood, her love of music began when she was young. As she put it, "I grew up having kind of a vast knowledge of music and constantly having it affect me." As she's an actress and filmmaker, music is an essential element. "When I see films and the music amplifies the story and you understand more about a character because of a song that is playing, it's all one to me," she said.

Because music and acting go hand-in-hand for Johnson, she's constantly using music as part of her acting process. As she said on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," she is always making playlists for her different characters. And, in an interview with Glamour, Johnson revealed that her playlist for the film "The High Note" was filled with Aretha Franklin songs to get her into the right headspace. She said, "I'm always listening to music when I'm working."

The actress' first audition didn't go so well

Every actor has to start somewhere, and, even though Dakota Johnson comes from a super famous family of actors, when she started out, it wasn't always easy for her. In fact, as she explained in an interview with the Associated Press, her first film audition was a bit of a trainwreck. As she recalled, her first audition was for the role of "the girl who gets saved" in a superhero movie. "I didn't get the part," she said. "I didn't get a lot of parts."

Apparently, according to Johnson, "there was no way that [this particular audition] could [have been] good" because of how the audition was set up. As she remembers, the audition took place in a small, corporate office space, and she had to sit on a chair and act out being scared, screaming "help." It's pretty easy to see how it would be tough to get into character in an audition like that — no wonder that first audition didn't go so well.

Dakota Johnson went viral for this truth-telling moment

For anyone who has spent any time on the Internet knows, Dakota Johnson isn't just an actress — she's also a meme queen. In 2019, Johnson appeared on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" for what ended up being one of the most awkward chat show interviews ever. In the uncomfortable exchange, DeGeneres asked Johnson how her birthday party had been, saying, "How was the party, I wasn't invited?" Johnson retorted, "Actually, no, that's not the truth, Ellen, you were invited." What followed was a cringeworthy exchange in which Johnson continued to call out DeGeneres' lie. Yikes!

The unforgettable moment quickly went viral, with memes popping up all over social media of Johnson's truth-telling moment. The meme continues to be going strong years later. As one user tweeted a year later, "Happy one year anniversary to 'actually, no, that's not the truth, Ellen' Nov. 27, 2019 a national holiday in my humble opinion." Many fans even marked Johnson's interview as the beginning of the end for DeGeneres, whose show will be ending after its 19th season (via Insider). Whatever you believe, this was one undeniable cultural moment!

She also went viral for her hilarious kitchen tour

As if Dakota Johnson's infamous Ellen DeGeneres moment wasn't enough, in 2020, the actress went viral yet again, this time for a hilarious moment in her Architectural Digest home tour. In the video, which has over 20 million views, Johnson takes viewers to her stunning green kitchen, which included multiple bowls of limes on the countertop. She looked at the limes and said, "I love limes — I love them, they're great, I love them so much, and I love to present them like this in my house." As Mel Magazine reported, people online were obsessed with what seemed like her bizarre lime infatuation!

However, the following year, Johnson appeared on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" and set the record straight about the limes. Her home had been staged by the Architectural Digest team, and the limes were just part of it. "I actually didn't even know that they were in there," Johnson said. So, she made the joke about loving limes to poke fun at the set dressing — after all, the bowls of limes were a little ridiculous. What makes it even funnier? She even admitted to being allergic to limes! It just goes to show you can't believe everything you see online (some of Johnson's fans are even a little upset with her for leading them to believe she was a lime lover).

Dakota Johnson hasn't had an easy time during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic affected us all in different ways. For Dakota Johnson, the lockdown set off some of her anxieties. In an interview with Marie Claire, the star explained that 2020 had been tough and that she had found it hard to switch off. "I'm constantly thinking about the state of the world right now," she said. "It keeps me up at night, all night, every night." She went on to explain that her brain is always racing to "crazy dark places" and that she had been working on slowing down her thoughts and anxieties with "a lot of therapy."

In fact, by the sounds of things, therapy has become a crucial part of Johnson's life since the pandemic. During an appearance on "The Drew Barrymore Show," Johnson revealed that she had been struggling with depression. "I'll probably be in therapy for the rest of my life," she confessed (via the Daily Mail). For Johnson, therapy isn't just a coping mechanism, but also a way for her to learn more about how her brain works. She said she even took some online psychology courses to find out more! We love that she's a lifelong learner.