Fifty Shades of Grey star Dakota Johnson is coming to her mother’s defense against Hollywood in further charges of ageism and sexism. The 26-year-old actress is demanding that Hollywood’s film studios create more roles for older actresses, such as her mother, Melanie Griffith (Working Girl), and her grandmother, Tippi Hedren (The Birds). Dakota is another in a growing list of actresses raising a collective voice against the unfair and demeaning practices that seem to be more prevalent in the film business than in any other industry. For Johnson, however, it isn’t just about herself. Nor is it just about politics or trying to implement social change. For Dakota, it’s personal. It’s about family.
Dakota defends Melanie Griffith as only a daughter can
Recent years have seen the development of feminism in Hollywood and with good reason, especially if you ask Ms. Johnson. While she can’t speak for every actress of past generations, Ms. Johnson knows just what Ms. Griffith and Ms. Hedren are capable of, perhaps more so than the fans that still adore them. Dakota also knows better than most just how badly the odds are stacked up against actresses considered beyond their prime.
“This industry is f—ing brutal,” the Black Mass actress says in the February issue of British Vogue.
Giving it some thought and possibly remembering more than a few of the past films Melanie Griffith has starred in, Dakota expounds on the tragedy of the current situation.
“Why isn’t my mother in movies? She’s an extraordinary actress! Why isn’t my grandmother in movies?”
Johnson adds that working in Hollywood is a real morale buster, even though no one realizes it. She says downtime between films leaves her with the feeling of not being wanted and she wonders when, or if, she will get her next break. The cutthroat business of Hollywood only adds to those negative feelings, says Ms. Johnson.
Fifty Shades of Grey Star Dakota Johnson Is Proud Of Her History
The February issue of British Vogue will feature Johnson on the cover in addition to her inside interview — and this won’t be the first high-profile magazine to feature Dakota on the cover. She has previously adorned a sampling of covers, including Elle magazine. These, in addition to her successes in Hollywood, are all direct results of Fifty Shades of Grey, says the actress.
“I’m proud of Fifty Shades of Grey. I don’t need to distance myself from that,” Dakota says. “The more work I do, the more the general public sees the different things I can do. Do I think it opened doors? Yeah. More people know my name.”
While the books on which the film series is based have attained best seller status with 125 million copies sold worldwide and have been translated in 52 languages, critics have largely dismissed the film. Contrary to what one might expect, critics and some fans have found that the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey fell far short of the books. The general consensus has been that the film toned down the bondage and discipline, so the scenes would coddle those easily offended.
“You get dirtier talk in most action movies, and more genitalia in a TED talk on Renaissance sculpture,” remarked one critic.
A Newsday review questioned how an R rated film with as much sex and nudity as Fifty Shades of Grey could end up being “so painfully dull”.
Dakota’s latest film, How to Be Single, which also stars Rebel Wilson, Alison Brie, and Leslie Mann, will hit theaters on February 10.
Dakota Johnson will also reprise her Anastasia Steele character in Fifty Shades Darker alongside returning co-star Jamie Dornan. The film is slated to hit theaters on February 9, 2017.
[Featured image by Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images]