Dakota Johnson Clarifies Comments About Therapy After Suspiria

Dakota Johnson sitting on the floor in Suspiria

Dakota Johnson recently stated that her role in Suspiria pushed her into therapy, but it seems there's a bit more to the story. While she did apparently speak to a therapist after her role in the new horror film, it seems that this is a somewhat regular occurrence for the actress and not an indication that the new movie caused her to become mentally disturbed in any way. In fact, making the movie was actually a lot of fun. According to Johnson...

It was the most fun and the most exhilarating and the most joyful that it could be. It's mischievous and play[ful] and I love it more than anything. It wasn't that this film sent me to a ward, I just have a lot of feelings.

Dakota Johnson had made comments in the run-up to Suspiria's release that the movie "fucked me up so much that I had to go to therapy." The statement certainly makes it sound like the movie had a negative impact on her emotional state, but it seems there were actually multiple emotions at play during the production.

Dakota Johnson specifically tells EW that her experience filming Suspiria was not traumatic. Quite the opposite. She uses words like "exhilarating," and "joyful," and "fun" to describe filming the movie. It seems that, unsurprisingly, the movie was capable of both being fun to make, and requiring Johnson to talk to somebody about the dark subject matter after the fact. It's the difference between playing the character and being herself. Art is nothing if not versatile.

While the new remake of Suspiria that recently came out is being touted by many as being a truly disturbing and bizarre horror movie, any indication that it caused Dakota Johnson to be disturbed is going too far. While the actress does say here that the dark subject matter of the film did have an impact on her, it was only in a way that has happened to her before because of the way that she inhabits her characters. She just needed to talk herself out of the dark place that character brought her.

First of all, I was not psychoanalyzed and I hope I never will be. 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.

It's actually great to get this clarification from Dakota Johnson. The actress is open and honest about the fact that she has, as needed, spoken with a therapist, and there's no stigma attached. It's a perfectly normal thing that really helps her. It's something that could potentially help a lot of people and seeing it spoken in simple terms could help that happen.

While it is good the movie didn't cause a breakdown, most probably wouldn't have guessed that making Suspiria went quite so far in the other direction. It's not difficult to see why some might have assumed that it was a harrowing experience. Being in the movie may not be traumatic, but watching surely was for some. Suspiria is meant to be visually and emotionally disturbing and by most accounts, the film succeeds.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.