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Dakota Johnson Shares Feelings On Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer And Shia LaBeouf Amid Controversies

Dakota Johnson has worked with a large number of incredible actors and filmmakers throughout her career. She’s, of course, been the leading lady to Christian Grey’s fantasies in the Fifty Shades movies, along with being part of a ton of critically-acclaimed films such as The Social Network, Black Mass, Suspiria, The Peanut Butter Falcon and soon, The Lost Daughter. When looking at her experiences under a microscope, the actress had the rare opportunity to work with three men who have been the subject of abuse allegations as well: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer and Shia LaBeouf. 

As these situations have cropped up, as an audience we often become conflicted. If we loved Johnny Depp movies, can we separate the artist from the art and enjoy his films, or do we blacklist these actors due to the funny feeling that may come up knowing that in their personal lives, a libel trial rages on with his ex Amber Heard following major abuse allegations? Dakota Johnson wrestles with this too, as she shared her experiences working with these actors in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter:  

I never experienced that firsthand from any of those people. I had an incredible time working with them; I feel sad for the loss of great artists. I feel sad for people needing help and perhaps not getting it in time. I feel sad for anyone who was harmed or hurt. It’s just really sad.

As Dakota Johnson said to the trade, she did not personally have a negative experience working with Johnny Depp, with whom she worked on 2015’s Black Mass, playing Whitey Bulger’s girlfriend Lindsey Cyr. Or Shia LaBeouf, with whom she starred in 2019’s The Peanut Butter Falcon, and faces a sexual battery lawsuit from ex-girlfriend and singer, FKA Twigs. Nor Armie Hammer, who checked himself into a rehab facility in Florida for drug, alcohol and sex addition following abuse allegations over the summer. Johnson continued her thoughts on her former co-stars, saying,  

I do believe that people can change. I want to believe in the power of a human being to change and evolve and get help and help other people. I think there’s definitely a major overcorrection happening. But I do believe that there’s a way for the pendulum to find the middle.

Oftentimes when headlines pop up regarding some of the actions of these actors, such as these Dakota Johnson has worked with, there’s a tendency for the public to go from the extreme of idolizing to completely “cancelling” the person. At the end of the day, we’re all human and while no one is excusing their actions here, Dakota Johnson certainly speaks to the bigger picture. She believes that perhaps these men can see the other side of their current struggles, but at the same time believes in keeping people accountable as well as this particular moment calls for it. She continued, 

The way that studios have been run up until now, and still now, is behind. It is such an antiquated mindset of what movies should be made, who should be in them, how much people should get paid, what equality and diversity look like. Sometimes the old school needs to be moved out for the new school to come in. But, yeah, cancel culture is such a fucking downer. I hate that term.

There’s uncertainty right now about how Hollywood will look at these actors moving forward. Johnny Depp was recast in the Fantastic Beasts movies after losing a libel lawsuit regarding allegations that called him a “wife beater.” Armie Hammer dropped out a host of roles as of late, and Shia LaBeouf's career has been quiet. As Johnson described, above all else, it’s a “sad” situation for all parties involved. 

Dakota Johnson’s next film is The Lost Daughter, which co-stars Olivia Colman and is written and directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal. It will be released on December 17. 

Sarah El-Mahmoud

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.