Dakota Mayi Johnson (born October 4, 1989) is an American actress and model. She is the daughter of actors Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson. She had her screen debut alongside her mother in the comedy-drama Crazy in Alabama (1999) and was named Miss Golden Globe in 2006. Following high school graduation, she returned to acting with roles in the films The Social Network (2010), Beastly (2011), 21 Jump Street (2012), Need for Speed (2014) and the short-lived TV comedy Ben and Kate (2012–2013).
She received international recognition in 2015 after landing the lead role of Anastasia Steele in the romantic drama Fifty Shades of Grey, which catapulted her to fame and earned her the People's Choice Award for Favorite Dramatic Movie Actress and a BAFTA Rising Star Award nomination. The same year, she took part in Black Mass and A Bigger Splash. She also starred in the romantic comedy How to Be Single (2016), and reprised her role as Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades Darker (2017) and the upcoming Fifty Shades Freed (2018).
Dakota Mayi Johnson was born on October 4, 1989, in Austin, Texas, to actors Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson. Her maternal grandparents are advertising executive and former child actor Peter Griffith and actress Tippi Hedren, and she is the half-niece of actress Tracy Griffith and production designer Clay A. Griffin. Her former stepfather is actor Antonio Banderas. She has six half-siblings; four on her father's side, including actor Jesse Johnson, and two on her mother's side.
Johnson attended Aspen Community School in Aspen, Colorado. She later attended the Santa Catalina School in Monterey, California, for her freshman year of high school before transferring to New Roads School in Santa Monica, California. She was an avid dancer as a child. She became interested in modeling at age 12 after a photo shoot with children of other celebrities for Teen Vogue.
In 1999, Johnson made her film debut in Crazy in Alabama where she and her half-sister, Stella Banderas, played daughters to their real-life mother, Melanie Griffith. The film was directed by her then-stepfather, Antonio Banderas. In 2006, she was chosen as Miss Golden Globe 2006, where she served as the first second-generation Miss Golden Globe in the Globes' history.
Once Johnson graduated from high school, she signed with the William Morris Agency and started her acting career. She appeared in the critically acclaimed box office hit The Social Network which was directed by David Fincher. She has also appeared in Beastly, Ezna Sands' film Chloe and Theo, and So Yong Kim's film For Ellen. In 2012, she had roles in Christopher Neil's film Goats, with David Duchovny; Nicholas Stoller's film The Five-Year Engagement for producer Judd Apatow, and the film 21 Jump Street. She also played the female lead in Chris Nelson's film Date and Switch written by Alan Yang.
In March 2012, Johnson was cast as Kate in the Fox comedy series Ben and Kate, marking her television debut. The show was cancelled on January 25, 2013 after one season. Johnson quickly resumed her film career, and appeared in Need for Speed (2014). She also has been cast in the modern-day film adaptation of William Shakespeare's Cymbeline.
In 2013, she had a role as one of the new hires on the "Finale" episode of The Office. Johnson played Anastasia "Ana" Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey, which was released in February 2015. Johnson won the role over Lucy Hale, Felicity Jones, Elizabeth Olsen, Danielle Panabaker and Shailene Woodley. On February 15, 2015, Johnson appeared on Saturday Night Live's 40th anniversary special and hosted SNL on February 28, 2015, making her the second daughter of a former SNL host (after Gwyneth Paltrow, whose mother Blythe Danner hosted during the show's seventh season in 1982) to host herself. Also in 2015, she reunited with her 21 Jump Street cast member Johnny Depp, playing the mother of his character's child in the feature film Black Mass.
In 2015, Johnson starred in Luca Guadagnino's thriller A Bigger Splash, opposite Tilda Swinton, Matthias Schoenaerts and Ralph Fiennes. She also played a lead in the 2016 comedy How to Be Single, with Leslie Mann and her Date and Switch costar Nicholas Braun.
Johnson mentioned in the Autumm/Winter 2015 issue of AnOther Magazine, that she is already deep in ballet training to prepare for Luca Guadagnino's remake of Suspiria. She will star with Schnoenaerts again in The Sound of Metal, where she plays a singer, and he plays a drummer who begins to lose his hearing. She was set reunite with both her The Social Network producer Michael De Luca and costar Andrew Garfield for the crime thriller Under the Silver Lake but had to drop out and Riley Keough took the role. She will also star in and executive produce two films under her Silhouette Productions: Forever, Interrupted, where she will play a young widow, and Unfit, where she will play Carrie Buck in a fact-based 1920s courtroom drama. She has also signed on to work on the independent feature film The Peanut Butter Falcon with Bruce Dern and Shia LaBeouf and Bad Times at the El Royale with Chris Hemsworth and Oscar Winners Russell Crowe and Jeff Bridges for writer-director Drew Goddard.
In 2006, Johnson signed with IMG Models. Though acting is her primary work, she has since modeled for MANGO brand's jeans line in 2009 and shot the "Rising Star" campaign for Australian fashion label Wish in 2011.
Johnson was previously in relationships with musician Noah Gersh, actor Jordan Masterson and Welsh model and musician Matthew Hitt.
In answer to the questions regarding her stance on gender rights with respect to her role in Fifty Shades, Johnson stated: "I'm proud of [the movie]. I completely disagree with people who think Ana's weak. I think she's actually stronger than he is. Everything she does is her choice. And if I can be an advocate for women to do what they want to do with their bodies and not be ashamed of what they want, then I'm all for that."