Childhood & Early Life
Dakota was born on October 4, 1989, in Austin, Texas, US to Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, both actors. Her parents married in January 1976 and filed for divorced in July that year. They again reunited in early 1989 and got married again which lasted till 1996. She has six half-siblings among them two are from her mother’s side and four from her father's side.
Her maternal grandmother Tippi Hedren is an award-winning American actress and former model who has also garnered attention as animal rights activist. Many of her extended family members are into acting including her maternal half-aunt Tracy Griffith, former stepfather Antonio Banderas and paternal half-sibling Jesse Johnson.
She studied at the Aspen Community School in Aspen, Colorado and thereafter spent her freshman year of high school at the Santa Catalina School in Monterey, California. She then took transfer to New Roads School in Santa Monica, California.
As a child she was a dancing enthusiast. When she was 12 years old she developed interest in modelling after going through a photo shoot for Teen Vogue along with other children of different celebrities.
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She made her debut in films as child artist in the American comedy-drama ‘Crazy in Alabama’ directed by her step-father Antonio Banderas. The film that released on October 22, 1999, featured her and her half-sister, Stella Banderas, as daughters of their real-life mother, Melanie Griffith, who played a starring role in the film. The film however turned a box-office bomb.
She was selected Miss Golden Globe 2006, an honour her mother also held in 1975. Dakota became the first second-generation Miss Golden Globe in the history of the annual Golden Globe Awards. She also signed with IMG Models that year.
Following her high school graduation she began her career in acting signing with the William Morris Agency.
In 2009, she modelled for jeans line of MANGO brand and moving on in 2011 she travelled to Sydney in Australia and filmed the ‘Rising Star’ campaign for ‘Wish’ fashion label.
She played Amelia Ritter in the critically and commercially successful 2010 American biographical drama film ‘The Social Network’. This David Fincher directed film that had Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake among others in starring roles won several awards including three Oscars.
She then went on to feature in other films like ‘Beastly’ (2011), ‘21 Jump Street’ (2012) and ‘Need for Speed’ (2014) and short films ‘All That Glitters’ (2010), ‘Transit’ (2012) and ‘Closed Set’ (2014).
While featuring in films she forayed into television making her debut in the Fox comedy series ‘Ben and Kate’. She played one of the two titular characters of Kate Fox in the series opposite Nat Faxon who played the other titular role of Ben Fox. The series that was produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Chernin Entertainment aired from September 25, 2012, to January 22, 2013.
She appeared in the ‘Finale’ episode of the American comedy television series ‘The Office’. This last episode of the series was aired on NBC on May 16, 2013, after an hour-long series retrospective.
She garnered a lead role of Em in the February 14, 2014 released American comedy film ‘Date and Switch’. The film also had Nicholas Braun, Zach Cregger and Hunter Cope in starring roles. She also starred as Imogen in the 2014 American film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s play ‘Cymbeline’.
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She thrived in winning the starring role of Anastasia Steele in the Sam Taylor-Johnson directed American erotic-romantic-drama film ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ over actresses Shailene Woodley, Danielle Panabaker, Lucy Hale, Elizabeth Olsen and Felicity Jones. She starred opposite Jamie Dornan in the film that was based on British author E. L. James’ 2011 novel bearing same title.
‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ made its premiere on February 11, 2015 at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival and had its theatrical release on February 13, 2015. The film garnered generally negative reviews however became a huge commercial success breaking several box-office records grossing a whopping $571.1 million worldwide. It raised Dakota to prominence giving her international recognition and popularity as a star.
She appeared on the 40th anniversary special of American late-night live television variety show Saturday Night Live on February 15, 2015 and also hosted as episode of the show that aired on February 28 that year.
She was part of the ensemble cast of the American biographical crime-drama film ‘Black Mass’ that also included Johnny Depp, Kevin Bacon and Benedict Cumberbatch among others. The film premiered at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival on September 4, 2015 and released theatrically worldwide on September 18 that year. It became both a critical and commercial success.
She also featured in films ‘A Bigger Splash’ and ‘Chloe and Theo’ and short films ‘In a Relationship’ and ‘Vale’ in 2015.
She starred as Alice Kepley in the American romantic-comedy film ‘How to Be Single’ along with Rebel Wilson, Alison Brie, Leslie Mann and Nicholas Braun among others. The film released on February 12, 2016 in the US and became a blockbuster hit grossing $112.3 million at box-office.
She furthered her fame reprising the role of Anastasia Steele in the sequel of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ titled ‘Fifty Shades Darker’. The film released on February 10, 2017, in the US and became a smashing hit like its predecessor grossing $381.1 million at box-office.
This was followed by the third and final installment in the Fifty Shades film series titled ‘Fifty Shades Freed’ where she again reprised the role of Anastasia. The film released on February 9, 2018 in the US and became the fourth highest-grosser of 2018 garnering $365.3 million at box-office.
Upcoming films of Dakota that would feature her in starring roles include the drama thriller ‘Bad Times at the El Royale’, the horror flick ‘Suspiria’ and the adventure film ‘The Peanut Butter Falcon’.