Dakota Johnson became the most envied woman you had never heard of today. E L James instantly skyrocketed the young actresses' career by casting her as Anastasia Steele in the "Fifty Shades of Grey" film. The erotic novelist tweeted on September 2, "I am delighted to let you know that the lovely Dakota Johnson has agreed to be our Anastasia in the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey."
Dakota Johnson has deep roots in the entertainment industry with Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson as parents and the legendary Tippi Hedrin as a grandmother, yet the 23 year-old actress has not had a breakout role in Hollywood until now. "Fifty Shades of Grey" is expected to be a box office hit when it is released on August 1, 2014 and fans have already rallied behind Johnson. Most in the "greysessed" community did not have an actress picked out as their favorite for the role so there was little disappointment when the official casting announcement was made. The few negative comments doled out were mild and Melanie Griffith was not afraid to address them. The actress tweeted a few choice words to one follower who complained, "Fifty Shades casting is horrible! Who would watch those two, especially the homely daughter of Don Johnson and @MelanieGriffith? #BADCASTING."
Although she began her career in 1999 with a small part in "Crazy in Alabama," Johnson did not appear on the big screen again until 2010's "The Social Network." She has worked steadily for the past three years with supporting roles in "21 Jump Street," "The 5 Year Engagement" and the short-lived TV series "Ben and Kate." While big screen success has so far eluded her, "Fifty Shades of Grey" has instantly changed that. Dakota Johnson will now be a household name alongside her co-star Charlie Hunnam.
The character of Anastasia Steele that E L James created is one that is complex yet easy to relate to. Beginning the story as a 22 year-old virgin and college graduate, Steele quickly becomes enamored with Christian Grey, a mercurial billionaire who exposes her to a world of BDSM. The internal and external struggle between Ana and Christian is what makes the story so fascinating. Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson will need to use their acting chops to sell more than just erotic sex to viewers, fans are expecting the passion and complicated love story to jump off the screen as well.
Hunnam and Johnson were likely chosen because of their potential on-screen connection. Film Producer Michael De Luca commented on the casting process, tweeting "Auditions were stunning, incredible chemistry!" Fans can be sure that Team Fifty took their time choosing the right actors to bring Christian and Ana to life, ensuring that sparks flew when they were in a room together.