Why Dakota Johnson Needed Therapy After Filming Suspiria

Dakota Johnson Suspiria at a table with drinks and witches

Previews suggest that there are a ton of great movies set to come out between now and the end of the year, but none look as trippy, eerie, and disturbing as Luca Guadagnino's Suspiria. We won't know until November if it will actually live up to that promise, but certainly one person deeply affected by it is star Dakota Johnson - who recently explained why her experience playing Susie Bannion saw her seek the help of a mental professional after production:

I find sometimes when I work on a project and --- I don't have any shame in this --- I'm a very porous person and I absorb a lot of people's feelings. When you're working sometimes with dark subject matter, it can stay with you, and then to talk to somebody really nice about it afterwards is a really nice way to move on from the project. My therapist is a really nice woman.

Dakota Johnson first revealed that he specifically entered therapy following the making of Suspiria earlier this year, but it was only during a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly that she explained the full story. It seems that her character work and the tone and themes of the film wound up being a little too intense for her due to her emotional filters, and as a result she felt the need to talk out her feelings with a third party.

This is interesting to learn if not just for the perspective it offers on the craft. There are plenty of actors who have the ability to completely mentally compartmentalize the work, go home at night disconnecting from their role - but others, like Dakota Johnson, aren't able to do that as easily. As a result, it can clearly be affecting for the performer, opening them up to thoughts and realities they might not have otherwise explored. Clearly this happened to Johnson in the making of Suspiria, and I'll admit to it making me extra curious to see what kind of heat the film is packing.

A remake of the Dario Argento classic, Suspiria begins as a young American woman (Dakota Johnson) moves to Berlin to enroll in an exclusive dance academy. She begins to discover, however, that the benefits of the experience may not be enough to compensate for the number of strange and horrific occurrences that begin to happen with greater and greater frequency. The film, which has a stacked cast including Chloe Moretz, Tilda Swinton, and Jessica Harper, just premiered at the Venice Film Festival where it received a polarized response - so we'll just have to wait and see how mass audiences receive it.

Amazon Studios is releasing Suspiria domestically, and is set to give it a limited release on October 26 followed by a nationwide expansion on November 2nd. Be on the lookout here on CinemaBlend for more updates about the film, and to see what else is coming soon to a theater near you, be sure to check out our release calendar.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.