Dakota Johnson took a break from the Fifty Shades Darker set to attend the Toronto International Film Festival’s premiere of Black Mass, which stars Johnny Depp as gangster Whitey Bulger and co-stars Johnson as Bulger’s girlfriend, Lindsey Cyr. The Daily Mail reports that Johnson found filming with Depp comforting in a way, as the two share a common acquaintance.
“It was cool because we have a connection in having known Hunter Thompson. My dad was quite close with Hunter,” Ms. Johnson revealed. “I spent a lot of time in Woody Creek as a kid and he was a magical person to me. He would come into the driveway at odd hours and rearrange rocks and things… He’d bring me odd gifts, like bird collars, or weird fishing gear.”
“Whenever I’d see him, he would bend down and take his hat off and I would pat his bald spot,” said Dakota. “I have no idea why! It was a thing we did…”
Her time spent with Hunter S. Thompson gave Dakota the inspiration for her life motto, which she shared with The Star, during a TIFF interview.
“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro,” Ms. Johnson shares. “I constantly try to subscribe to that philosophy. It helps keeps me sane, or insane. You just accept it, and move on.”
Black Mass director Scott Cooper specifically chose Dakota because of her “sweetness and earthiness” and while Johnson says she appreciates the compliment, she comes across as surprisingly humble, as the actress declines to comment on the director’s words.
“That’s very kind of him. I don’t know. I feel like it’s a weird thing if I would agree with that,” Dakota said. “I probably wouldn’t describe myself that way, but that’s the lovely thing about directors, especially Scott: They see special parts of people.”
Speaking of her Black Mass character, Dakota says that there were some scenes that might have been much more difficult to get through had she been performing with anyone other than Johnny Depp. Specifically, Ms. Johnson refers to those scenes in which her character speaks her mind with uncharacteristic bluntness.
“They were hard emotionally. It was a very heavy day. The atmosphere was very thick and it’s rough material,” revealed Dakota. “It’s a very devastating situation, so it was a difficult day, but I can’t imagine doing it with anybody else.”
Ms. Johnson took the time to return Cooper’s compliments of her, as she was asked how she felt about jumping into a role surrounded by an otherwise all-male cast.
“I didn’t have to negotiate my way in, which is often the case. Scott and I met and we just sort of understood each other and he asked me if I would do the movie and I was so thrilled. I was beyond honoured and excited and I felt that I had finally been accepted into a secret club — the Scott Cooper secret club with cool actors,” said Ms. Johnson. “I love his other films, including Crazy Heart and Out of the Furnace. The biggest thing I loved about this specific sort of crime story is that the women are as equally as tough as the men.”
Dakota Johnson can be seen starring opposite Johnny Depp in Black Mass when the film hits theaters on September 18.