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Woman of the week: Dakota Johnson

As today sees the release of Fifty Shades Freed, there could only be one contender for our woman of the week…

Today, audiences worldwide will see Dakota Johnson reprise her role as Anastasia Steele in the third and final instalment of the Fifty Shades trilogy. But how did success come about for the world-renowned actress?

Early life and career

Woman of the week: Dakota Johnson

Brought up with the essence of fame in her blood, Dakota Johnson was born on October 4, 1989 in Austin, Texas to actors Melanie Griffith (Working Girl, Cecil B. Demented) and Don Johnson (Miami Vice). Although she became interested in modelling at age 12 after a photo shoot with Teen Vogue, the young star made her screen debut alongside her half-sister, Stella Banderas, and mother in the 1999 comedy-drama Crazy in Alabama – a film directed by her then-stepfather Antonio Banderas. Although the film foundered and Johnson stepped away from the acting line for nearly a decade, she wasn’t put off from the industry completely.

Seven years later, she was chosen as Miss Golden Globe 2006 (the person who assists in the annual awards ceremony by handing the trophies to winners and assisting them off stage) and became the first name in history of Hollywood to be honoured with the second-generation title after her mother held the role in 1975. 

Continued Hollywood success

Woman of the week: Dakota Johnson

Following high school graduation, Johnson reignited her acting career and signed with the William Morris Agency. Her first box office hit, David Fincher’s The Social Network (2010), received eight Oscar nominations, including one for Best Picture.

"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..."

Other notable works that Johnson appeared in include Beastly (2011) with Vanessa Hudgens, the hit feature film of the 1987 TV show 21 Jump Street (2012) and Need for Speed (2014). She also starred in a short-lived, yet popular, comedy Ben and Kate, and held the female lead in Chris Nelson’s Date and Switch.

Fifty Shades and global acclaim

Woman of the week: Dakota Johnson

Despite several TV and film appearances, Johnson only started to gain international recognition in recent years. Fending off the likes of Felicity Jones, Lucy Hale and Danielle Panabaker for the role of Anastasia Steele in the 2015 film adaption of E.L James’ Fifty Shades of Grey, Johnson became a household name in the film industry and won the People’s Choice Award for Favourite Dramatic Movie Actress as a result. Despite negative reviews, the romantic drama broke several box office records and gained $571m globally.

Last year, she reprised her role as Ms Steel in the sequel film, Fifty Shades Darker, and from today onwards audiences can see her star in the third and final instalment of the trilogy, Fifty Shades Freed.

Now, read our profile on Margot Robbie

Further Reading