Dakota Johnson moves away from the erotic stereotype and bets on independent cinema

After premiering at the same International Film Festival of Sundancewhere the theme of a deaf and dumb family had been presented with the latest Oscar winner “Coda”, dakota johnson now comes with the story of the mother of an autistic girl in ‘Cha Cha Real Smooth‘. With a classic independent production, he manages to get away from the erotic stereotype that he won with “50 Shades of Gray”, although she cannot avoid the fame inherited for being the daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffithbesides having had Antonio Banderas as a stepfather.

-Is it true that in addition to being the protagonist you also fulfilled the role of producer in “Cha Cha Real Smooth”?-

“Yes. I actually have another producing partner who had met the director, CooperRaiff, and he insisted that I see him on ‘Shithouse’. It was the time when I was still filming with Maggie Gyllenhaal ‘The Last Daughter’, in Greece. And after seeing it I asked for a meeting the next day.

“That’s when they told me the idea of ​​’Cha Cha Real Smooth‘. And back then it was just a seed, not even an idea. And I said that I would love to produce it to take the idea to the movies.”

-The idea was only to be the producer or from the beginning did you think of also being the protagonist?-

“We had agreed that I was going to play the character of the mother, Domino. And at first, he was not going to work as an actor. But I wanted him to work with me because the main character is very similar to him. And only afterward did we start looking for the rest of the other actors together.”

Director Cooper Raiff is the young actor who accompanies Johnson in “Cha Cha Real Smooth‘” and by writing the script he must have fulfilled the dream of many fans by illustrating the love he has for her, despite their age difference. The big difference is that in the fiction of the story, she is married with a daughter autisticwhen he tries to conquer her at a party, with the great excuse of asking the daughter to dance and getting even closer when he manages to show that he could well be the pstepfatherby becoming his ‘babysitter’”.

-Who came up with the idea of ​​starting the story with a Jewish festival like the famous Bat Mitzvah where the characters of “Cha Cha Real Smooth” meet?-

“It was an idea of Cooper although he is not even Jewish, but he said that at school he used to go every weekend to a different one. And we thought it was very funny the idea of ​​a 22-year-old who helps youngsters become adults. teenagers 13 years old. And although he is not Jewish, he knows all the work behind him and he says that he also had his first kiss there. That’s why the idea is as sweet as it is romantic.”

-Did you have no problems during the filming of the party in the midst of the restrictions of the covid Pandemic?-

“And… there were barriers, for sure. We couldn’t cast as many extras as we wanted, but I still had a lot of fun with those scenes. During the covid we had to reimagine everything, like getting an abandoned mall in pittsburgh to be able to use different areas where we could turn it into other birthday parties bar mitzvah. We also shot in small areas with a lot of people, to go to another area where we used the faces of people we had filmed, but turned to the other side. You didn’t see them. It was like playing Tetris with the actors behind the scenes. And luckily we didn’t have to shut down production in the middle of the pandemic. That was wonderful”.

-The director, actor and screenwriter Cooper Raiff conquered you from the first moment, just like in fiction, to convince you to film “Cha Cha Real Smooth?”-

“(Laughs) As a person, he is unique. I don’t know anyone like him. And the way he sees the world…the way he wrote the script for ‘chacha...’ he has a very particular voice, with a big heart, because of the way he studies people. The relationship between my character and him, or the relationship between my character and the daughter, is very special, something not at all common in the movies, although it is very common in real life. That is why it is so important that today such a story be seen on a television screen. cinema”.

-And how was the relationship with the actress who plays your autistic daughter, Vanessa Burghardt?-

“It was wonderful because vanessa it asked the purest questions, in everything, being his first film. I’ve never been in a studio before. cinema and she asked all kinds of questions, but at the time of work she arrived totally prepared. And it was very comfortable working with her.”

-And in your case, to what extent did the decision to work in cinema influence the fact of having parents like Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, in addition to having also been raised with Antonio Banderas as a stepfather?

“My parents didn’t want me to have anything to do with movies. I shot my first movie when I was very young, just because my mother (Melanie Griffith) was the main character. Her name was ‘Crazy in Alabama’I acted like the daughter. And my stepfather (Antonio Banderas) had been the director. But then I never worked as an actress again, until the 18 years”.

-In ‘The Last Daughter’ you had played another young mother like this time, in ‘Cha Cha Real Smooth’ Without being a mother in real life, are you inspired by the desire to be or by your mother Melanie Griffith?-

“Well, I have two children hiding under the table (laughs). is that my best friend She is the mother of two children who are my godchildren. And if I have to play a mother in the movies, it is because I have seen her as her mother. For having asked her about everything, from what she feels deep inside her or simply seeing her. I also grew up with many brothers. But of course I’m not mother yet. I don’t have my own experiences to relive, but having had so many siblings, I raised many of them and continue to raise them even today, like a mother.”

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