Dakota Johnson Trained To Dance For Suspiria While Filming Fifty Shades Freed

Dakota Johnson dancing in Suspiria

Dakota Johnson finished up her time as the face of the Fifty Shades franchise earlier this year, and now she is branching out for two of fall's most intriguing films. One of those films, Suspiria, required the actress to learn to dance, and it turns out that training required so much training that she needed to do it while still filming Fifty Shades Freed. She recently, explained,

I trained on and off for about a year before we started filming, but I'm not a professional dancer. It was terrifying.

Even on and off, a year is a lot of time to put into something before the cameras even begin to roll, and I imagine training to dance while also focusing on her performance in Fifty Shades Freed had to be especially taxing. As Dakota Johnson told Entertainment Weekly, she's not a professional dancer, but the film basically requires her to look like one so that amount of work was necessary.

Luca Guadagnino's remake of Suspiria sees Dakota Johnson's character Susie Bannion accepted into a prestigious Berlin dance academy. She slowly begins to discover the evil lurking beneath the glamour, but that's simultaneous with her rise to be one the most prestigious students in her class. Johnson needed to be great at dancing and performing the film's choreography to convincingly play the role, and that took a whole lot of dedication.

Part of that involved a big dance scene in front of an actual audience - which apparently terrified Dakota Johnson. Given the revealing nature of the Fifty Shades films, you would think that just dancing in front of people wouldn't faze her, but I suppose the crowd of strangers watching, and the desire to make the dance look good made it quite nerve-wracking.

Dakota Johnson worked hard to mitigate that terror and make sure that her performance in the film was believable. Given how long an average day is on set, you might think that the actress did her dance training on her days off. But no, she left Christian Grey's playroom and went straight to the dance floor, as she explained to Reuters,

I was filming another movie in Vancouver, the third 50 Shades movie, and I would go after work or before to train with the trainer.

All that work sounds like it was worth it too. Suspiria is one of the big horror movies to look forward to this month. The early reactions have been mixed but largely positive and our own Eric Eisenberg called it a "horrifying nightmare" that is "shockingly gorgeous."

The nature of the film actually gave Dakota Johnson more to do after the film was finished too. Before filming she needed dance training, and after production wrapped she actually needed therapy. And you thought Fifty Shades was the film she couldn't escape. But hey, at least she's got some great dance skills now.

Suspiria opens in theaters on October 26th. Before then you can see the actress in Drew Goddard's Bad Times at the El Royale, which, despite lacking BDSM or satanic dance numbers, still looks awesome, Check out our release schedule for all the frights and delights coming to the multiplexes this fall.

Nick Evans

Nick grew up in Maryland has degrees in Film Studies and Communications. His life goal is to walk the earth, meet people and get into adventures. He’s also still looking for The Adventures of Pete and Pete season 3 on DVD if anyone has a lead.