Dakota Johnson strips down for Elle magazine (Photo: Carter Smith for Elle)
For those of you who are still on the fence about Dakota Johnson playing the leading lady for "Fifty Shades of Grey," here are a few arguments that may lean you more toward the positive side.
After an intensive search, Johnson, 24, landed the coveted role of Anastasia Steele in the screen adaptation of E.L. James's erotic bestseller. Her casting came as something of a surprise to fans of the novel, who were expecting (or at least fantasizing about) a more popular Hollywood star in the role, such as Emma Watson, Mila Kunis, Amanda Seyfried, or "Game of Thrones" dragon-lady Emilia Clarke.
While Dakota Johnson may not (yet) have the star power of those would-be contenders, she more than makes up for it in looks, personality, talent and just plain sheer will. Here are the reasons why she might not only be the best choice for Anastasia Steele, but perhaps also the only choice.
1. Her red-hot Elle photo shoot.
Pics from Dakota's recent photo shoot (see one of 'em above) for Elle Magazine hit the web on Thursday, and with them a brand new outlook on the, well, physical perks of the actress. Johnson looks gorgeous in the pics inspired by "Fifty Shades of Grey," showing off the kind of seduction skills that would certainly make troubled billionaire Christian Grey take notice... and the rest of the world, too.
The Twitter-sphere also seems rather pleased with the shoot.
The photo spread and interview will be featured in the mag's March issue, which hits store shelves on Feb. 18 ... a late Valentine's Day present for all the fans out there.
2. She's prepared to go all the way.
"Fifty Shades of Grey" is notorious for the graphic sexual content that's made it one of the hottest beach reads of all time. While getting down n' dirty in the bedroom (or anywhere else) might make other actors give pause, Dakota Johnson doesn't seem to have any hesitations — or reservations — whatsoever.
"I don't have any problem doing anything," Johnson told Elle Magazine. "The secret is I have no shame."
Let's hope her co-star Jamie Dornan feels the same way, or the film might have an interesting twist on who is the 'dominant' sexual partner in at least the first few chapters of the relationship.
3. She knows it's about more than just the 'strong sexual content.'
You can have the hottest sex scenes ever put to film, but all that bumping and grinding (and spanking and slapping and... you've read the book, right?) will soon grow tedious without any real character development. Luckily, Dakota is more interested in the emotional arc of these two unconventional lovebirds.
"Reading the book, I found myself more interested in the ways they were breaking each other down emotionally than the sex scenes," said Johnson in the Elle interview. "I think there's a part of a woman that wants to be the thing that breaks a man down."
She also points out that the strong attraction between Anastasia and Christian turns the story into a kind of adventure. "It allows both of them to do something that they are completely afraid of."
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4. She fought for the role.
Dakota Johnson lobbied hard for the role of Anastasia Steele... before she had even read "Fifty Shades of Grey." She stalked her manager and agents on a daily basis waiting to hear if she got the part after auditioning — which even her off-screen boyfriend, Jordan Masterson, didn't know about, as she had been sworn to secrecy.
She got the call that she'd been cast at the end of the summer while she was in New York at a friend's apartment, and the heat was on.
"The phone rang and I remember looking out of this apartment to an apartment across the street," said Johnson in a November interview with Entertainment Weekly. "And I was looking at all of these people in their windows. And I thought, ‘How funny would it be if I were watching people having sex right now?"
Pretty funny. And totally hot.
5. She has a hot mom and dad.
Dakota Johnson is the daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, two of the hottest lookers of the '80s. Mom secured her sex-symbol status after she showed Jeff Daniels the time of his life in "Something Wild" (1986) and Don was one of the biggest hearthrobs on TV with his portrayal of Sonny Crockett on "Miami Vice."
6. She's played a sexual active college student before.
Remember her one-night-stand with Justin Timberlake in "The Social Network"? Oui, of course you do.
7. She has a hot stepdad, too.
Dakota's stepfather is Antonio Banderas. The guy plays Puss in Boots, for kitty's sake.
So. Are you a true believer now?
"Fifty Shades of Grey" will change Valentine's Day forever when it hits theaters on Feb. 13, 2015.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Dakota Johnson
- Fifty Shades of Grey