Skip to main content

Dakota Johnson comes from a famous family. Her parents are actors Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith. As such, it seems like a no-brainer that Dakota ended up pursuing a career in the entertainment industry. In fact, Dakota says that her father “couldn’t really stop” her from becoming an actor. 

Dakota Johnson smiling, holding a bouquet of flowers
Dakota Johnson | Rachpoot/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images

Dakota Johnson has had a successful career

Even though Dakota comes from a showbiz family, she was not a child actor. However, when Dakota became an adult, she started taking acting seriously.

In 2010, she landed a role in the award-winning movie The Social Network. In the next few years, she would appear in other popular films, such as Beastly (2011), 21 Jump Street (2012), The Five-Year Engagement (2012), and Need for Speed (2014).

Dakota’s big break came in 2015 when she played Anastasia Steele in the movie Fifty Shades of Grey, which is based on the popular book of the same name. She revived the role again in the movies Fifty Shades Darker (2017) and Fifty Shades Freed (2018).

Dakota has won several awards for her work, including a People’s Choice Award and an MTV Movie & TV Award. She also reportedly has a net worth of $14 million.

Dakota Johnson says her dad ‘couldn’t really stop me’ from becoming an actor

Dakota was not a child star, and she told W Magazine in January 2022 that her parents “discouraged” her from acting. She also shared that they “wanted me to have as much of a childhood as I could.”

Even when Dakota was older, her parents preferred that she attended college. However, Dakota was determined to work in showbiz. She told W Magazine that she always knew she wanted to be an actor, saying, “My parents were always working with amazing artists, and I just loved it. I wanted to be a part of it so badly.”

“My parents, especially my dad, really wanted me to go to college, but I didn’t. I wanted to work, and I didn’t feel like I was the kind of person that could learn what I wanted to do by being in a classroom,” the actor explained in a recent interview with Vanity Fair. “I think they knew that they couldn’t really stop me.”

Don Johnson cut Dakota Johnson off after high school


Dakota Johnson Talks ‘Different Energy’ Working With a Male Director for ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Sequels

Dakota’s parents also decided they would not bankroll her as an adult. Don shared on Late Night with Seth Meyers that he cut Dakota off after high school.

“The funny thing about her is—we have a rule in the family that, you know, if you stay in school, you get to stay on the payroll,” Don said.

“So, you go to college, you get to stay on the payroll. Towards the end of high school, I went to her and I said, ‘So, do you want to go visit some colleges?’ Or something like that. And she was like, ‘Oh, no. I’m not going to college.’”

Late Night with Seth Meyers via YouTube

When Don asked Dakota how she would “manage” her financial situation going forward, Dakota told her father, “Don’t you worry about it.”

Don added, “Three weeks later she had nailed down that part in David Fincher’s The Social Network. And the rest is, shall we say, cinema history.”

For more on the entertainment world and exclusive interviews, subscribe to Showbiz Cheat Sheet’s YouTube channel.