Dakota Johnson for ELLE Magazine

Posted on February 10, 2014

Miss Dakota wants you to spank her.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” star Dakota Johnson covers the March 2014 issue of ELLE magazine photographed by Carter Smith.  Dress by John Galliano. Thigh Highs by Donna Karan Signature Collection. Shoes by Manolo Blahnik.

  On what interested her most while reading Fifty Shades of Grey: “Reading the book, I found myself more interested in the ways they were breaking each other down emotionally than the sex scenes. I think there’s a part of a woman that wants to be the thing that breaks a man down.” On having the chops needed for the role: “I don’t have any problem doing anything. The secret is I have no shame.” On what it’s really like to grow up having famous parents: “I think people, especially the press, like to pick on children of famous people and I think that’s fucking awful. Things get made up. It’s so, so sad. And there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it as a 16-year-old. You’re like….Why? What did I do?”

Trench Coat by Burberry Prorsum | Sandals by Burberry Prorsum | Thigh Highs by Donna Karan Signature Collection

Bandeau Top by Jason Wu | Skirt by Missoni | PVC Belt by Prabal Gurung | Thigh Highs by Donna Karan Signature Collection | Pumps by Christian Louboutin

Coat by Dsquared2 | Skirt by Narciso Rodriguez | Thigh Highs by Donna Karan Signature Collection | Pumps by Christian Louboutin

  She’s really pretty and this editorial looks great. All the clothes are gorgeous. But we can’t help thinking that between now and the release of Fifty Shades of Grey, she’s going to be asked to do a whole lot more of these “arched back and garter stockings” kind of editorials. At least this one is stylish and classy. Elle got in there before everyone else did.       [Photo Credit: Carter Smith for ELLE Magazine]

    • hughman

      “Hi, I’m Bijou. Call me at 1-900-(OK FACE).”

      • MK03

        “That’s not even enough numbers!”

    • Trent

      Nice clothes, especially the lovely cover dress. But why is this themed editorial happening a full year before the movie opens? Weird.

      • marlie

        A poster/billboard just went up promoting the movie in Times Square (I think). I wonder if they’re already worried about it flopping.

        • lunchcoma

          I imagine they might be. The hype around the book has worn off, and I think it will be difficult for them to make a movie that both pleases the hardcore fans and has any appeal to wider audiences.

          • NYCGlamourpuss

            I think you’re right about the hype having worn off. They may be a “day late and a dollar short” on this one – could be why the super early billboard.

            • @Biting Panda

              What in the fuck could be taking so long? 2015? There are epic works of CGI fiction that film, edit and release faster than this. Even if they condense all three books into one film, this will struggle to be two hours. I feel for anyone attached to this movie, their careers are dead men walking.

            • lunchcoma

              I think the troubles began when they decided they wanted a mainstream director and reasonably well-known actors. We all know that the casting took forever and why that was. I suspect that there may have been similar problems getting everyone else on board. I also wouldn’t be surprised if there have been clashes over the script and the tone.

            • decormaven

              Nailed it! This will be completely ho-hum when the movie arrives.

          • gabbilevy

            That, and the two leads could not have less charisma. I think they’re desperate.

            • marlie

              And these are the biggest-name actors they could get? Doesn’t bode well.

            • lunchcoma

              Oh, absolutely, marlie. I think they would have done a lot better to cast a couple of complete unknowns and hype them as undiscovered talents rather than throw around the names of people with successful careers for months and wind up with a couple of only marginally recognized actors.

            • alyce1213

              “successful careers for months”
              Thanks.

            • Markus Sarén

              Jamie Dornan is actually really good in “The Fall”, IMO.

        • sagecreek

          As well they should.

        • Anna

          But, BUT it’s supposed to come out on the MOST romantic weekend of the year (February 13, 2015)!!! Along with Spongebob Square Pants 2 and the Poltergeist remake, I might add.

          • lunchcoma

            Ah, February. The traditional hiding place of really terrible movies hoping to still make a buck or two.

            • Anna

              I can’t think of better opening weekend competitors.

          • Lori

            Because nothing says “romance” like dysfunctional dipshits being dysfunctional together.

            • Anna

              Bingo.

            • sagecreek

              Worked for Twilight…

            • BuffaloBarbara

              So why not Twilight fanfic?

            • AnnaleighBelle

              If “Twi-moms” aren’t the second creepiest thing ever, I don’t know what is.

              I guess this will appeal to them?

          • Kimmu

            I just have to add that, to me, the best date movie ever made was released on Valentine’s Day and did gangbusters.

            That movie being, of course, Silence of the Lambs.

            • AnnaleighBelle

              Actual studies by actual academic types show that fear is an awesome aphrodisiac.

            • Kimmu

              Oh I know, but the horrible fangirl in me, who acknowledges how terrible a lot of the people found within are and that it is a true horror story, also finds it romantic.

              I cannot wait for the new season of Hannibal to start. That week will be generous to us with it and Vikings.

            • AnnaleighBelle

              I’m soothing my soul with Sochi until Feb. 28th. I’m afraid when the first millisecond of Hannibal lights up my TV I’ll scream like a 15-yr-old girl at a Beiber concert and pass out.

            • Kimmu

              It’s ok. That’s about my reaction to the trailers that have been released. I may have done that silent screaming in my cubicle at work.

          • AnnaleighBelle

            Romantic early relationship Valentine movie – soft-core bondage movie…hmmm…

            Nice third date?

            • Anna

              I think it could be an effective way to guarantee there will be no fourth date.

            • AnnaleighBelle

              Much better for the third anniversary I’m-sick-of-you-what-do-we-do-now-to-perk-things-up Valentine’s date.

        • alyce1213

          Fasten your seat belts. I fear there’ll be relentless publicity for the whole year.

          • Danielle

            *groan*

        • Kent Roby

          Plus there’s the leaked info about the nudity being toned down, so why bother? It is bound (pun intended) to be as bad as the also-watered-down “Exit To Eden” and “9 1/2 Weeks”.

          • demidaemon

            Well, without the nudity, what’s left? Oh right, the “emotional” BS Dakota was trying to talk up here. Spare me.

          • ShaoLinKitten

            Anyone who saw the movie 9 1/2 Weeks has no idea how watered down– that book is hardcore, and really captures the heartache and psychological breakdowns that 50 Shades only pretends to address.

            • mom2ajs5

              Wow!! Had no idea it was a book. I watched it over and over in college before my innocent eyes had ever seen actual porn and thought I would die. ;-) May have to go hunt down a copy of the book now!

            • mom2ajs5

              I’m replying to the 91/2 Weeks comment, btw. Don’t want to sound like the idiot who didn’t know 50 Shades is a book!

            • ShaoLinKitten

              Supposedly it’s a memoir! I remember seeing the movie, being intrigued, then reading the book and getting a real education about BDSM. I wish that all the 50 Shades fangirls would read it, but they wouldn’t like it, because it’s not romantic at all. Erotic and disturbing, but no hearts and flowers.

            • julnyes

              There is a book! That movie (9 1/2 weeks) blew my fragile pre-teen mind when I saw it. I’ll have to dig up the book.

              Exit to Eden was a full on travesty.

          • AnnaleighBelle

            I don’t understand that – if you’re gonna do it, then do it.

            • Kent Roby

              Exactly. Both 9 1/2 Weeks and Exit to Eden (the books) were dark explorations of sex and control, but the movie versions became silly (they even completely added the ridiculous Rosie O’Donnel/Dan Ackroyd storyline to Exit to make it into a comedy).

      • Sarah

        I hate the Galliano dress. It reminds me of pot scrubbers, and I don’t know on what planet you would ever pair minty with black stockings and red shoes and not expect to look like a sexy Christmas elf. But y’know, that’s just me.

    • alyce1213

      Very nice spread, but I’m not getting much special from her. I don’t know her work and there’s no chance in hell I’m gonna see that movie.
      It’s so, so sad.

      • melisaurus

        Dakota, Miss Tyra wants you to know your eyes look dead in this photo.

        • Danielle

          She missed the episode about smizing, clearly.

          • Trish

            She also has no neck on the cover, major Ty-ty no-no.

          • demidaemon

            She missed a lot of episodes, then.

      • Kent Roby

        There’s something so wrong and so awesome about saying “nice spread” to something related to this movie!

      • AnnaleighBelle

        It doesn’t even look like her.

    • lunchcoma

      I’m not a fan. The neutral interiors and ugly shoes make me think of porn, which I suppose may be intentional.

    • Danielle

      Over her already.

    • sagecreek

      I guess it would please her to know that I have no clue who her famous parents are.

      • @Biting Panda

        Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith.

        • tallgirl1204

          Well, THEM, I know who they are. But I had no idea they had kids.

          • Lori

            She’s their only child together, although they both had kids with other people so Dakota has a number of half-siblings.

      • Anna

        Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson. Wouldn’t have known that though were she not cast in the role.

      • http://urban-gypsy.com/ Tess Danesi

        I didn’t know who they were either so her parents seem to have done a great job keeping her out of the limelight as a child.

        • @Biting Panda

          Not to be argumentative, but when she was a kid, the focus on the children of celebs was not what it is today. Now days there is big money in the stalking and harassment of celebrity offspring.

          • sagecreek

            True, and also not to be too bitchy, but it’s been years since her parents were anything but B-list. The last time I remember Melanie Griffith being mentioned was by Harmony in Season 5 of Buffy.

          • http://urban-gypsy.com/ Tess Danesi

            That’s true, now that you mention it. There was way less emphasis on celeb kids back then. And also true that her parents haven’t been in the spotlight in a long time.

            That said, she’s a very pretty girl but nothing could drag me to a theater to see that film. I’ll see it when it hits Netflix so we can play a drinking game while watching. It’s the only way I’ll make it through. It’s going to suck so hard.

            • demidaemon

              How are you parsing out your drinks? I wouldn’t want you to have alcohol poisoning.

            • AnnaleighBelle

              Why bother? There’s good stuff.

      • http://foodycat.blogspot.co.uk/ foodycatAlicia

        You’ve obviously not seen the right pictures of her. In some she is absolutely the spitting image of her father.

    • imspinningaround

      Is there a reason why her hair looks so wiggy?

    • Anna

      Re: “On having the chops needed for the role,” – enhanced version of the author.

      Typical open-mouthed “sexy boudoir” editorial.

      • KinoEye

        Yep, pretty much. I just googled the author out of curiosity. That’s what Dakota’s going to look like in the future. Even the hair, fringe and all. But I must thank EL James for having the worst pen name ever when she started out, which gave me the biggest laugh of my day: Snowqueens Icedragon. I mean, really?!

        • Anna

          Bwahahahah! So awful, its almost brilliant. Thanks, I needed the laugh :)

          • KinoEye

            “It’s such a fine line between stupid and, uh, clever.” But it raises so many questions. Are there multiple Snowqueens, or does the Snowqueen own an Icedragon and forgot the possessive apostrophe? What is a Snowqueens? How did a woman who came up with this name land on the NYT Best Seller list? My head hurts.

            • Anna

              “Yeah, and clever.” Love the Spinal Tap reference!

              These are very deep, deep questions you’re asking. I also want to know if a Snowqueens is ranked below an Icequeens. Since Fifty Shades Freed ended with the ominous note, “That’s all…for now,” does that mean the Icequeens have more horrors in store for us?

              At any rate, I am grateful to this cunning author for teaching me so much about language. I learned a most valuable lesson about what to do when you have the inability to write proper dialogue: use as many breathy moans as possible.

    • marlie

      I’m not a fan. I know this is supposed to be titillating and sexy and reference the book, but I have some pretty strong feelings against the book. To see the book referenced in this editorial makes me dislike it even more.

      • Rand Ortega

        Haven’t read the book. But as I’ve said previously, this movie has “Exit To Eden” turkey potential. I’m seriously planning on having a group screening in LA for lavish snark.

        • marlie

          You’ll have to dish about it in the TLounge; that’s the only way I plan to get details from the movie.

          • Rand Ortega

            Pinky swear.

        • Anna

          You should MOST DEFINITELY plan and host this group screening.

        • hughman

          “Fifty Shady Gays”

          • Rand Ortega

            & we have our title!

            • http://twitter.com/janedonuts Jane Donuts

              Ha! Please invite the non-gays too. I want in.

        • Kent Roby

          I must fly in; I just posted a reference to Exit to Eden (and 9 1/2 Weeks) before seeing this post! Hopefully it’ll be as wonderfully bad, though it won’t have Paul Mercurio’s butt in it!

          • Rand Ortega

            That was an epic butt, wasn’t it?

        • Heather

          I think it’s gonna need drinking games.

        • decormaven

          Love this idea!

      • kmk05

        Tell me about it. It’s visceral, the repulsion I feel whenever the book is mentioned. And seeing this editorial I don’t care how pretty it is. I try not to think about the fact that they’ve made a movie.

      • demidaemon

        Yeah, but like TLo said, we’ll be seeing LOTS of this in the future, possibly even with other stars. Even after the trend has clearly passed, which was about five months ago.

    • @Biting Panda

      UGH. These T-strap shoes are everywhere, and I weep. Also troubling? Her bangs, her wistful head tilt.

    • KateShouldBeWorking

      I feel like there’s a “pole dance” joke to be made here.

    • Nancer

      She looks great! I love the coat (2nd picture) and the skirt (3rd picture). As to the editorial, I think TLo are right. There is much more of this in the future until her movie finally drops. But hey, pretty girl and great clothing!

      • RL McGruder

        LOVE that skirt!

    • frannyprof

      I find this depressing and predictable.

    • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

      “Thank you sir. May I have another?”

    • MilaXX

      Her sitcom sucked and the emoting she is failing to do in this editorial is not winning me over either.

      • MK03

        She had a sitcom?

        • MilaXX

          yup, Kate & Ben I think it was called. It was awful

      • kismet026

        I thought Ben and Kate was amazing, in large part due to Dakota’s performance. Ben was a weaker part of the show in my opinion, but Dakota and the actress that played her daughter really did a great job in selling the importance of their relationship. I don’t know how much you watched, but in some later episodes, they had really good scenes to show the bond between them. Lucy Punch as BJ had great comedic delivery as well. I don’t think a show has ever emotionally connected with me so quickly as Ben and Kate did once they began to focus on the connection between single mother and daughter.

        • MilaXX

          They lost me 3 episodes in. I didn’t find any of the performances that awesome or the premise that great.

    • imperfectlaura

      The cover is way too cliche (too lazy to put the accent on sorry grammar police). But the other shots aren’t quite as bad. The quote about having no shame is priceless.

    • Garcia Loca

      She has all of the charisma of a bowl of Maruchan noodles.

    • Sam Smith

      ugh, the poor me I’m a child of famous people and the press was mean to me. um, why do you think you got this role, its due to your parents’ names and connections so come on already, don’t play the poor me.

      • Bexxx

        still though- whether or not she got the role due to her connections, she never asked for undue attention as a child. it has to be difficult.

        • Imasewsure

          That being said, I don’t think she really was in the public eye that much. I don’t remember much about the kids – and not a whole lot about her parents either but I suppose it takes its toll anyway.

          • SRQkitten

            I think the internet has really raised the stakes with focus on celebrity kids. I don’t know as her parents have been really that much in the spotlight (B-list or less) in the time she’s talking about. I’m with Sam, cannot abide celebrity kids whining about their tribulations. Most of them would still be waiting tables if it wasn’t for their parents connections.

    • BuffaloBarbara

      I also have such an instinctive distaste for the book that I’m not sure I’m looking at the editorial fairly. So, I’ll limit myself to kind of seeing what she means about the child-of-famous-parents thing. There’s an argument to be made for how the parents themselves get treated — they worked pretty damned hard to be in a position to be pilloried by the press — but the kids? They didn’t ask for it, and it probably is confusing and hurtful as hell.

      Okay, okay. It’s hard to comment on the fashion, since she’s, um, not wearing much. The cover dress is just odd. The trench is gaudy and the Dsquared coat seems to have metallic fringe on it. Is there a comment appropriate to metallic fringe on a coat?

    • http://foodycat.blogspot.co.uk/ foodycatAlicia

      I swear this has NOTHING to do with my feelings about the book, but whoever styled her in a pretty green dress with sheer black hose and red shoes needs to be tied up and spanked. And not in the good way.

    • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

      In the very last picture, is she depressed because she has so many delicates to wash and forgot to get a bottle of Woolite?

    • TigerLaverada

      Well, she’s got legs for days, I’ll give her that. I expect she grew up in the Hollywood bubble, which has both good (easy entree into showbiz, lots of money) and bad (paps, made up gossip, harsh criticism of your looks) aspects. Given she’s basically still an adolescent, I’m guessing the gossip and criticism stings disproportionately at the moment. Her quotes aren’t in Miley Cyrus range yet, and hopefully she keeps her head on straight. Time will tell.

    • Trickytrisha

      Not finding this classy in the slightest. No amount of fancy editorials is going to make this piece of crap book and the film anything other than something to scrape off the bottom of my shoe.

      • random_poster

        Classy was not a word that entered my mind either.

    • Imasewsure

      I don’t know… I think she’s kind of boring (oh yes and cluelessly entitled)

    • hillmad

      I really thought it was Lea Michelle in a bad wig on the cover at first. This girl looks kind of tired and scared and I don’t find either of those looks sexy.

    • AnguaVonUberwald

      I am even more sad now that her sitcom (which was hilarious) was cancelled. You are better than this, Kate!

    • Shawn EH

      I’m feeling Jane Birkin back to life.

    • twigg

      Is her hair a wig?

    • Maya

      I thought it was Lea Michelle in the first shot.

    • TheOtherChristina

      The cover. Her head. Exorcist. Words fail me. Why are we not talking about her head? Heads don’t do that, you guys, they just don’t.

    • MK03

      “I think there’s a part of a woman that wants to be the thing that breaks a man down.” Only if you’re a sociopath…

      • demidaemon

        You know, I totally misread that quote as “I think there’s part of a woman that wants to be the thing a man breaks down,” which inspired my original comment around here somewhere in Disqus land. I may have be tainted horribly by my distaste for the book.

    • ThaliaMenninger

      I don’t think she looks like either parent.

    • demidaemon

      Well, some of those quotes pushed feminism back about 1000 years. And, is she reading the same book as everyone else? Because her quotes make it kind of hard to tell.

      I’ve got nothing on the photos. I am so not her audience here. They are pretty, but way too “Spank me, Daddy!” for me.

    • AnnaleighBelle

      The funny thing is that she was really adorable in her short-lived Fox comedy.

      I had no interest in the book and even less in the movie. Do you think it will hit or bomb?

    • KT

      Something about her doesn’t quite translate through the lens, if that makes sense. There’s something sort of indistinct about her face that makes her look different in each photo, and thus, somewhat unrecognizable.

      That cover shot is REALLY weird, as it seems that someone photoshopped her head onto that body. Also her hair looks really wiggy. Also the bright red shoes are clashing with the light green in a way that is making my eyes twitch. The second photo is awkward and very staged looking. The third one is my favorite, and the fourth isn’t bad either, but I’m not very impressed by this shoot as a whole. And yes, all of the “look at my ass, look at my garter belt, look I’m a victim” shit is really on the nose. Harrumph.

      • Melanie

        yeah. this shoot is surprisingly unsexy given that it features a pretty girl in heels & thigh highs. she looks ill at ease or something.

    • Jeannie Shmina Greenwald

      Yawn. Young woman, posing like a porn star in pretty clothes. Is this really what we have to look forward to in the run-up to this cheesy movie’s release? I’d be embarrassed to be seen with a copy of that book, and have zero interest it in. There are far too many great books to read than to waste time in a poorly written sex story.

    • quiltrx

      Bleh, these look like Cosmo shots. And she looks like Jennifer Love Hewitt and Leelee Sobieski had a really boring daughter.

    • LaSylphide

      Trying WAY too hard to be sexy.

    • Sophia

      “I think there’s a part of a woman that wants to be the thing that breaks a man down.”

      …Help.

    • http://frankbettecenter.org/ sleah_in_norcal

      yeah, everyone says they were interested in other things and not the sex in the fifty shades debacle…give me a break. it’s about 90% sex and the writing is awful.

      • omg_dora

        But then, the sex scenes are awful too. I can’t imagine anyone getting hot and bothered over sex as described by a little girl in textspeak (“OMG his COCK is HUGE WTF”). Although obviously many people have, otherwise this miserable joke wouldn’t be a bestseller.

        • http://frankbettecenter.org/ sleah_in_norcal

          true enough. i usually enjoy S&M erotica, but her writing about it was so repetitive that it bored me to tears. i had to quit in the third book when they were on their honeymoon alone on a boat and i was begging them in my mind to PLEASE do something else besides…well, anyways…

          • omg_dora

            I imagine the majority of people who enjoyed 50 Shades are not regular consumers of BDSM or erotica in general, or they would know it can be written a lot better. I think they were probably titillated by the mere concept. Meh, I hate to sound like such a snob but I can’t help it when it comes to really bad books and the people who love them unironically!

    • kimmeister

      I saw “Dakota” and my brain assumed the next word was “Fanning,” and I was about to flip my lid. Phew!

      • Folk Devil

        Haha, me too!

      • http://foodycat.blogspot.co.uk/ foodycatAlicia

        Same!

    • Jessica Freeman

      It is a shame that because of the movie she will spend more time than usual dressed up overtly sexy, when it really doesn’t suit her. She’s coming across a bit dull.

    • sekushinonyanko

      You could entitle this photo shoot “look at my butt.”

    • jcars

      There’s something so literal and cheesy about this. Putting her in pastels with “naughty” black underwear. She’s a sweet, innocent girl, but also a cat in heat!

      Sadly, I think this movie will be a hit, only because it should be so cheap to make. It doesn’t need Twilight box office to be considered a success.

      They’re lucky Dornan has some charisma, cause she’s a void.

    • http://frankbettecenter.org/ sleah_in_norcal

      wait. is she really fondling her own breast while doing the laundry in that last shot? well, to each his own i guess. laundry never turned me on,

    • kismet026

      I’m a fan of Dakota because she was incredible on the short-lived TV show Ben and Kate. The show didn’t have many episodes, but she was absolutely sweet and charming as a young single mother. I still everyday relate to her character explaining her anxiety about her daughter’s safety being because a child is your heart, and having a child is like having your heart walking around in the world without you being able to protect it at every step. A large part of her character was the writing, but Dakota was exceptional in it. I have no interest in this movie or the book it’s based on, but I’m glad she’s been given some sort of platform, and she’s a beautiful woman, though I think she looks much better as a blonde.

    • Danielle West

      The hair on the cover is AWFUL.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/Space_Kitty Space Kitty

      “The secret is I have no shame.”

      I’m sure there’s no way she’ll ever come to regret that quote. UGH. (Also? Not exactly a secret)

    • papillon

      I feel like she looks uncomfortable in almost all of these pictures (except the one with just the bra which looks almost natural) which makes me question just how well she’s going to pull off her character in that movie,