Life Lessons from Dakota Johnson

By Interview

Photographed by Craig McDean

Dakota Johnson

Welcome to Life Lessons. This week, in celebration of her new film The Lost Daughter, we ceebrate Dakota Johnson by revisiting a few highlights from the pages of her May 2016 Interview cover story. At the height of her Fifty Shades fame, Johnson sat down with the singer-songwriter Chrissie Hynde to discuss the challenges of simulating on-screen sex, navigating the pressures of blockbuster stardom, and why she doesn’t have Netflix. So sit back and grab a pen—you just might learn a thing or two.

“I’m filming the next two installments of the Fifty Shades movies back-to-back… I’ve been simulating sex for seven hours straight right now, and I’m over it.”

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“I still feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m unsure of what my life will be like.”

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“I have such an obsession with making movies that I probably will always do that. But sometimes my life can feel so suffocating, and then it can feel so massive, like I don’t have a handle on it at all, and I don’t know where it’s going or what I’m going to do. Right now, I’m known for making movies. And I wonder if that’s it. I don’t know. It doesn’t feel like it to me.”

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“Nothing is really precious anymore. The mystery is gone.”

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“It seems like the world is so fast to move its interest to someone else. When I think about filmmakers and actresses that I have admired my whole life, I’ve admired their entire body of work. I have admired what they began with and what they’re doing now. And now I feel like there’s such a weird pressure to find the new face. I don’t get it at all.”

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“I want to see women evolve. I want to see a body of work. I want to see all of it.”

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“There are some days when I can do my thing and be in the world and walk around, and it’s fine. And then there are other days where it’s totally not fine, and I want to crawl into a hole and die.”

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“I haven’t been in one place for that long in maybe five or six years. I found myself getting completely erratic with what I wanted to do with my free time—like, what books I was going to read or albums I wanted to listen to, what movies I wanted to watch. I couldn’t ever pick one. I couldn’t figure out what to do.”

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“I’ve learned to be comfortable with my life being in constant flux.”

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“At least once a week I’m like, ‘Who am I, and what the fuck am I doing?’”

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“I missed the television train at some point. I don’t know what happened, but now I’ve created a complex about it. I’m missing out on what everybody’s watching, and now I can’t even begin to think about starting to watch a television show because it’s been so long. I don’t even have a Netflix account… It’s just added to me being more of a social outcast.”

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Dakota Johnson
Dakota Johnson

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