Dakota Johnson's Famous Parents "Discouraged" Her From Becoming an Actress — Here's Why

Dakota Johnson is most well-known for playing Anastasia Steele in the "Fifty Shades of Grey" franchise. The films, which are based on the book series of the same name by E.L. James, marked her breakthrough role as an actress. Since then, she's led so many other films like "How to be Single," "Suspiria," and "The Lost Daughter." Next up, she's set to join Sony's Spider-Man universe as the titular character in "Madame Web."

Dakota's success is unsurprising, especially considering her parents are famous actors, themselves. Her father, Don Johnson, has starred in hit TV series like "Miami Vice" and "Nash Bridges," while her mother, Melanie Griffith, rose to fame by appearing in films like "Working Girl," "Body Double," and "Something Wild." Not to mention, Dakota's grandmother is "The Birds" star Tippi Hedren, and her former stepfather is the award-winning Spanish actor and director Antonio Banderas. That's right. Acting has always been a part of Dakota's life.

In a July 2022 interview with the Daily Mail, Dakota said she has never wanted to do anything else but act. "I didn't know any different," she said. "I thought, this is just what my family does." While you may think Dakota's family may have supported her dreams of becoming an actress, her parents were actually against the idea, at first. Why? Well, it all had to do with them wanting Dakota to live a normal life outside of the spotlight.

If you're curious to know more, scroll through the slideshow for all of the details about Dakota's parents and how they reacted to her wanting to follow in their footsteps.

Dakota Johnson's Parents, Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, Were Married Twice
Getty | Diane Freed

Dakota Johnson's Parents, Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, Were Married Twice

According to People, Dakota's parents met in 1972 while filming their movie "The Harrad Experiment." Don was 22 and Griffith was 14 at the time. They got engaged on Griffith's 18th birthday and then tied the knot in 1976. Although they split just six months after their wedding, Don and Griffith eventually got back together in 1989, which was the same year they welcomed Dakota and got married again. Their second marriage lasted until 1996.

Dakota is the only child the pair share. Both, however, have children from different marriages. Dakota actually has six half-siblings, four of which are from her father's side and two are from her mother.

Dakota Johnson's Parents Discouraged Her From Acting
Getty/ Jamie McCarthy

Dakota Johnson's Parents Discouraged Her From Acting

In a January 2022 interview with W Magazine, Dakota revealed she had wanted to act for as long as she could remember. "I couldn't wait because I grew up on set. My parents were always working with amazing artists, and I just loved it," she said. "I wanted to be a part of it so badly." When she told her parents about her dream to become an actress, Dakota said they "discouraged" her from joining the industry, but nothing could change her mind. "See how well that turned out?" she joked.

Now that Dakota is all grown up, she understands why her parents weren't supportive despite being actors themselves. "They wanted me to have as much of a childhood as I could," she explained.

Dakota Johnson's Father Wanted Her to Go to College
Getty/ Donato Sardella

Dakota Johnson's Father Wanted Her to Go to College

Don encourages his kids to stay in school by continuing to support them financially if they enroll in college, he's previously explained. Since Dakota knew she wanted to follow in her parents's footsteps by pursuing acting, she learned how to rely on herself financially at an early age.

"We have a rule in the family that, you know, if you stay in school, you get to stay on the payroll," Don said while appearing on "Late Night With Seth Meyers" in 2021. "Towards the end of high school, I went to [Dakota] 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.' "

When Don asked his daughter how she planned to support herself, Dakota told him that he didn't have anything to worry about, because she had it all figured out. "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," Don said.

Dakota's First Acting Role Was Alongside Her Mother In "Crazy in Alabama"
Getty/ Gregg DeGuire

Dakota's First Acting Role Was Alongside Her Mother In "Crazy in Alabama"

Dakota was just 10 years old when she landed her first acting job. In 1999, she made her film debut with a small role in the dark comedy film "Crazy in Alabama." It was a family affair on set because her mother starred in the project, while her then-stepfather, Antonio Banderas, was the director.

Dakota Johnson Is Close With Her Former Stepfather, Antonio Banderas
Getty/ Matt Winkelmeyer

Dakota Johnson Is Close With Her Former Stepfather, Antonio Banderas

Following her split from Don, Griffith married Banderas in 1996. The couple was together for nearly 20 years before they divorced in 2015. Dakota was just a kid when Banderas joined the family and she has built a strong connection with him over the years. In fact, she considers him her "bonus dad."

In 2019, she even presented Banderas with the best actor award at the Hollywood Film Awards, where she called him "one of the most influential people" in her life. "When I was six years old, my mother married a man who brought an unbelievably bright light and a whole new world of creativity and culture, and one remarkably magical little sister into our family," she said while getting emotional. "My stepfather, Antonio Banderas, burst into our lives. He was so vibrant and so fun and so funny and his English was abstract and we found it absolutely amazing. He loved my mother, and my siblings, and I so big, and so fiercely and so loud, that it would change all of our lives together."

More Photos of Dakota Johnson and Her Parents
Getty/ Ron Galella

More Photos of Dakota Johnson and Her Parents

Getty/ Dimitrios Kambouris

Getty/ Enos Solomon

Getty/ Jon Kopaloff

Getty/ SGranitz

Getty/ Kevork Djansezian

Getty/ Steve Granitz

Getty/ Vivien Killilea