Dakota Johnson Praises Honest Storytelling Of Mothers In 'The Lost Daughter'

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Dakota Johnson shared what attracted her to her latest film The Lost Daughter and how director Maggie Gyllenhaal helped her bring life to her challenging character.

The actress sat down with Gyllenhaal at the Deadline's Contenders Event to talk about some of the important cultural conversations explored in the film, which has been bagging awards and receiving praises from critics.

Scroll down to see what Johnson and Gyllenhaal had to say.

Breakthrough Director Maggie Gyllenhaal

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Maggie Gyllenhaal, who wrote the screenplay and directed the film, has proven that she is a serious director to watch out for. The film has not only received praises from reviewers, it also won multiple awards including Best Breakthrough Director, Best Screenplay and Best Feature at the the Gotham Awards.

“There’s something inherently dramatic about telling the truth in general," Maggie shared.

"So I do think that’s what drove me. And also because they were truths about things that related to me and my experience as a woman in the world."

Dakota's Challenging Role

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Johnson admitted she had trepidations at first but later realized the storytelling was honest and necessary.

“The initial feeling was, ‘Oh, I’m a little bit scared to play this young woman who’s having a really difficult time as a mother,’ because that is typically a very unlikable person," she said.

"But it’s so normal and it’s so honest, and it was some someone that I recognized more than, you know, a young mother who’s who gets everything perfect and is feeling great about it and super happy and all the time doesn’t waver from that.”

Not Sure About Motherhood

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In a separate interview, Dakota said that the honest depiction of women in the movie helped her come to terms with her feelings about motherhood. She also admitted that she wasn't sure yet if she wants to have kids.

'The film makes it OK to have complicated feelings about being a mother,' Dakota said to The Times.

'For somebody like me, who isn’t yet a mother and maybe doesn’t want to be a mother, it makes that OK. Complicated, but OK.'

Honest Representation

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Honest representation is exactly what Gyllenhaal was going for in her directorial debut.

"'I had all these things on my mind [as a mother], but didn’t see them represented anywhere. What Leda does is extreme. I’m not going to leave my kids, but no parent has not thought of just walking out that f***ing door.'"

The film will be released in theaters on Dec. 17 and will be available to stream on Netflix on Dec. 31. Watch the trailer below: