6 Juicy Insights Into How Dakota Johnson Will Play Anastasia Steele

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dakota johnson filming cybelineIn the wake of Fifty Shades of Grey fan backlash, it seems like all of Hollywood -- Brad Pitt! Olivia Wilde! -- has come out swinging for Charlie Hunnam, defending him as an impressive choice for Christian Grey. At the same time, buzz on Dakota Johnson has been a little slower to come out. Maybe a bit less, well, fervent. (Sure, Melanie Griffith has raved about and defended her daughter on Twitter, but hello, winning her mom's vote is a given!)

Thankfully, those in the know have begun wagging their tongues about how the rising star will bring Anastasia Steele to the big screen, and what they have to say about Dakota is definitely intriguing. Here, five eyebrow-raising insider insights on Dakota as an actress and how she'll fare in her big new gig ...

1. She's been so often cast as a character with sexual confidence, it may be difficult for her to play naive. One Hollywood casting director, who asked to remain anonymous, told The New York Post she was “definitely a little surprised” by the decision to cast Johnson. “It’ll be challenging to make Dakota believable as an innocent when it comes to sex and men. All of Dakota’s prominent roles to date have been extremely sexual. She’s even played the mom of a 6-year-old! So I’m a bit dubious as to whether she’s really right for this role,” says the casting director. Ouch!

2. However, she's been in the habit of altering misconceptions and preconceptions about who she is. The casting director goes on to say, "But I also think she’s been surprising everyone with her work so far. There’s always a great amount of skepticism about a model-turned-actor -- especially one with famous parents -- but I think she’s proven herself to have more skill and depth than was expected of her, and she’s definitely been choosing smart projects to build a possibly long-lasting career." Interesting!

3. She's made quite the impression on her male co-stars … Well, at least Penn Bagdley. Her current co-star told E! recently: "Dakota's wonderful. ... I'm sure she's gonna nail [the role], no pun intended."

4. Even her stepdad has her back. Antonio Banderas told The Independent recently about his step-daughter learning she had scored the role: "[Dakota] was very happy, very cautious at the same time, because she knows she's got a lot of work to do. It's a movie that's going to be watched by everybody who likes the book, especially women. So let's see. ... I wasn't in the country so I picked up the phone, called her, and said, 'Congratulations, you deserve this opportunity.'" Sweet!

5. She can do funny. Dana Fox, creator of the short-lived sitcom Ben & Kate that starred Dakota, notes, "She used to do physical comedy stuff for us that was like Lucille Ball. I try not to fall into writing scenes where gorgeous girls have to trip and fall so they’ll be likable -- but she had that thing, so we’d use it. ... She was like, ‘I’ll do whatever it takes to make this funny.’” Good to know, because given how intense Fifty Shades is, there will HAVE to be moments of comic relief ... and it sounds like Dakota may be able to carry them.

6. And smart and sexy, to boot! Daniel Barnz, who directed Dakota in the 2011 movie Beastly, notes, “She has this combination of natural intelligence and this sort of appealingly unconscious sexuality which make her an inspired choice for the part. ... If you’re going to do this kind of thing, you have to make people care about the emotion of the character. Otherwise, it’ll just be sort of ... porny. If anyone can pull that off, it’s her.” Wow!

What do you think about these endorsements about Dakota?


Image via Splash News

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peach... peachpies

No, she's not the Ana in the books no matter how you look at it. That casting director is right about her first comment. Of course her male co-stars are going to back her up! They're fellow actors and they all support each other. He woudn't say anything bad about her. And obviously her step-dad will back her too. And I'm sorry but I do not find her intelligent. She always seems the opposite in her interviews, and she's not alluring at all like Ana is! She hardly ever smiles in them, and she look so old for her age! She doesn't even look a damn thing like Ana is described. She needs to stick with funny, and get away from our Fifty Shades!! 

nonmember avatar Jacinta

At the end of the day no one is ever going to be right for the part because no two imaginations are the same christian and anistasia Are fictional and These two brave people are artists who are bringing CHARACTERS to life on the big screen they are professionals and have been chosen for a reason. do you think she's not right for the part or are you disappointed its not you? At the end of the day I adored the books and look forward to the movies I wish Charlie and Dakota all the best and hope they make the movie a success beyond anyone's expectations. As for all the desperate housewives out there get over it and get a life at the end of the day charlie and Dakota are real people how do you think all your negativity affects them?

nonmember avatar ana

Please I don't want to see this girl as anastasia...she is not attractive or sensual...this is so wrong can't stop looking to those ugly teeth and that huge forehead

Kate Cooley

Why is so much space devoted to this trainwreck of a project? It's going to disappoint everyone, yet every day is another article about it.

nonmember avatar Dede

Jacinta, I totally agree with you. People who are stating that they are disappointed with the casting choices, need to grow up and get a life. If you don't like the cast then fine but stop all this bitching and whining.

Jacqueline Gayle Smith-Michael

Dakota will be perfect for the role of Anastasia. Ignore the idiotic comments of those non educated morons. The stars in this movie are what is determining the fact that I now cannot wait to see it, otherwise I would have passed. Looking forward to the movie :)

peach... peachpies

Jacinta - people may have pictured different people, but we all read the same description. If the actress embodied the physical qualities it would've been fine, and no one would have room to complain. They didnt even try to get it close with Dakota. Because the books put so much emphasis on their looks and gave them specific features that are instantly noted on, we expect to see that. Another issue is her height which takes away that vibe of him being physically imposing and she can curl up small into his lap. She is supposed to be small all-around. In heels she'll be nose to nose with him too. No acting or chemistry will change the fact that she doesn't have the right look. She looks super old for her age too. No getting around it.

Laure... Lauren0983

Casting her as Ana is an insult to the character in the books.

nonmember avatar Lisa

Jacinta, I completely agree with you. I first read Fifty as fan fiction and all the way I have pictured in my mind Robert Pattinson as Fifty, and Christian's name still as Edward, but this is the real world people not our imagination. I'm willing to give these two young people a chance and see what they can do. After all people hated the idea of Robert Pattinson playing Edward so much they there were teens objecting and crying all over the internet now look at how they feel about the man. I do believe grown women are acting and being more hatefull than the teenagers were and that is very sad.

Annie... Anniegrace

@Peachpies - So true! I agree. And it's stupid when people compare this to the Twilight casting. Rob and Kristen looked enough like the characters which made them that much easier to transform physically. Besides it wasnt nearly as big of a phenomenon before the movie came out. Yes it was "popular" but not like this. Most people seem to have read Twilight after the movies since that's when it really blew up. 70 million people have turned FSoG into a phenomenon before the movie has even come out. There's much more expectation here. Not to mention this isn't just a typical book with vague physical descriptions. Christian and Ana are described in great detail and Christian is always noting on a lot of Ana's qualities in all the books. ELJ made their looks important and meaningful to the story, obviously. Dakota looks NOTHING like Ana in the books. Not even close - even with brown hair her facial features are the opposite, height, and body type are completely opposite from Ana's. They totally butchered this one! It's so sad.

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