Dakota Johnson interview about Madame Web
Latin Times/Courtesy Sony Pictures

MIAMI - Never in a million years did Dakota Johnson think she would be in a superhero movie, nor did her fans. However, her latest role in "Madame Web" is just that: a super hero from the Marvel Universe, no less. Why did she take it? "It sounded so different from what I thought it would be that I got hooked," she said in an interview with the Latin Times.

In the movie, part of the Spider-Man universe, she plays Cassandra Web, a paramedic who develops clairvoyant powers. Johnson said she got to drive all kinds of cars "like a maniac," fulfilling a childhood dream of becoming a car race driver. She also recreated the "protective" relationship she has with her younger sisters in her interactions with Isabela Merced, Sidney Sweeney, and Celeste O'Connor.

Hollywood Royalty

Born into a family entrenched in show business for decades, Dakota Johnson, the daughter of actors Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, was destined to shine under the limelight. Her maternal grandmother is Old Hollywood super star Tippi Hedren (she was the star of the Alfred Hitchcock movie "The Birds"); her stepdad is Antonio Banderas, whom she lovingly calls "papi."

Despite experiencing an unanchored childhood, moving between film sets and various locations, Johnson found solace in acting, a passion she pursued vehemently after high school. Her early modeling stints for Teen Vogue and subsequent ventures into acting with roles in films like "Crazy in Alabama" and "The Social Network" marked the beginning of a promising career​​.

From Anastasia to Cassandra

From her breakthrough role in the "Fifty Shades" series, which propelled her to international fame, to her diverse performances in films like "Black Mass" and "A Bigger Splash," Johnson has consistently demonstrated her wide-ranging talent. Curiosity and enjoyment seems to be the biggest force behind her projects. The fact that "Madame Web" was the opposite of a classic superhero movie is what caught her eye.

"I didn't really ever think that I would be in a superhero movie. It wasn't something that I saw myself in," she admitted. "And then I just thought that this role was very different. And that the way the script was written and the way the movie would be is more of a grounded film. It's more of a psychological thriller. It feels more real so I I felt like it was was an experience that I could enjoy. And that I could really function in."

She also liked that it was a film where the super heroes were all women, and she loved that Cassie, as she calls her role, is a mentor to them. The dynamic also translated to real life.

"It kind of happened really naturally with these girls, and I think that's probably because I have younger siblings and I feel very protective and supportive of them. So I think that definitely did lend a hand," Johnson said.

"Dakota was always there for us on the set," said Isabela Merced to the Latin Times. "She had this big sister energy, and she took us under her wing."

Madame Web is the fourth installment in Sony's Spider-Man Universe (SSU). The storyline follows Cassie Webb (Johnson) as she faces her history and strives to protect the future of Anya Corazón (Merced), Julia Cornwall (Sweeney), and Mattie Franklin (O'Connor) from the antagonist Ezekiel Sims (played by Rahim). Corazón becomes the super hero Araña, while Cornwall and Franklin transform into two different versions of Spider-Woman.

Dakota Johnson, the activist

Johnson's activism extends beyond her cinematic endeavors. She is an active voice in political matters, especially concerning women's rights. While she chooses "not to insert herself in unnecessary places," the current election cycle being one of them, her work speaks volumes about the issues she cares about. Through her art and public presence, Johnson continues to advocate for change and raise awareness about critical social issues.

Dakota Johnson explained how she sees her role as an activist:

"I like to talk about issues. I care about my work, and I use my voice in it as well. I am a huge advocate for women's rights and reproductive rights, so anything I can do to raise awareness and make a change there. I'm happy to do so."

And she does not only rely on her roles as an actress or her participation in events and interviews to support her issues. Johnson also has a production company called Tea Time, which develops projects that amplify her voice and her message.

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.