Dakota Johnson set up her own production company so she could have more creative input in the filmmaking process.
The Fifty Shades of Grey star found she was getting sidelined on the sets of her films and had no creative control over the finished product when she was just an actress, so she became a producer and set up TeaTime Pictures with former Netflix executive Ro Donnelly last year so she could be more involved.
“For a long time, I’d do a movie and have no say,” she told Marie Claire magazine. “I could go into something, and it’ll be one thing, and then it comes out as a totally different thing. As an artist, you’re like, ‘What the f**k?’”
Johnson, who has denied she was unhappy with the Fifty Shades films, explained that she didn’t want to be blindsided by the final film anymore and wanted to be involved in high-level decisions like casting, writers, and the overall aesthetic of a project.
“I definitely want to have my craft, my artistry, and my ideas respected and tossed around. I want to be part of the process,” the 30-year-old added. “When I work, I’m constantly thinking about the job. It takes up so much of my brain… Not all of my projects are only good messages, but all of them have a little bit of something that makes me feel like it’s an okay thing to pour my heart into.”
Johnson shared that she doesn’t have a method for picking projects and described her process as “very intuitive and emotional”. She generally follows her heart and goes for films that speak to her at the time. For example, when she was “in a place that felt very dark”, she was drawn to The Peanut Butter Falcon, alongside Shia LaBeouf and newcomer Zack Gottsagen.
“I think Shia might be the greatest actor of my generation, which I wouldn’t say to his face,” she gushed. “Zack Gottsagen has become one of the greatest loves of my life… He totally shifted my world.”