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Dakota Johnson says it’s ‘boring and sad’ how Hollywood assistants can be treated

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Having spent her whole life in the spotlight, Dakota Johnson says she’s witnessed people being mistreated by the stars they work for.

The 30-year-old actress is the daughter of Hollywood legends Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, but found her own fame when she starred in the Fifty Shades franchise. In her latest film, Johnson plays Maggie — an aspiring music producer who has found herself as the assistant to veteran superstar Grace David (Tracee Ellis Ross).

While the actress has never been an assistant in real life, she’s certainly had them in the past.

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Dakota Johnson at the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences’ 11th Annual Governors Awards on October 27, 2019 (Getty)

“My relationship with my assistant is the greatest. I adore her, and I’m so grateful for her,” she says. “I think every person should be treated with respect and kindness. Especially for people who are helping me in my life, and I’m so grateful for them.”

Unfortunately, and perhaps unsurprisingly, not all assistants are treated with respect in Hollywood.

“I just want everyone to feel loved, supportive and happy,” Johnson says. “I was brought up learning how to treat people with respect and gratitude. But I also saw people not treat their assistants or team members that way, and it’s boring and sad.”

Dakota Johnson in The High Note.
Dakota Johnson in The High Note. (Universal Pictures)

Johnson describes her character, Maggie, in The High Note as a woman who “doesn’t let the people who shut her down shut down her ambition and drive.”

“That was extremely important to me. That there was a young woman who had just lofty dreams, and the way she achieved them was by being deeply ambitious,” she says. “She was constantly focusing on being better at her craft.

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“It hurts her and it’s not easy, but she keeps going and that was something that I think not only for a young woman is important, but important for any human being. As long as you work hard and are kind to people, you just keep going.”

READ MORE: Dakota Johnson reveals she has struggled with depression since 14

Dakota Johnson and Melanie Griffith.
Melanie Griffith and Dakota Johnson. (Getty)

Johnson, who is dating Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, showcased some musical talent of her own in The High Note with some beautiful piano solos and singing alongside co-star Kelvin Harrison Jr.

“I did a lot of piano lessons in the early morning before work,” Johnson said. She also chose to have artists like Aretha Franklin and Wise Blood playing on rotation in preparation for the part.

“I make playlists for every movie that I do,” she says.

Johnson grew up in a very musical family.

“My dad used to play music all the time in the house,” she says. “My two older brothers are musicians as well. I grew up in a household that was always full of musicians. My dad listened to a lot of classic rock. My brothers who are into ’90s grunge, rap, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Tribe Called Request. That’s how I go into learning about music.”

Dakota Johnson wants to take on projects other than films. (Getty)

The sky is the limit for Johnson who is drawn to the idea of taking on projects outside of acting.

Having recently directed an idyllic music video for Coldplay’s track ‘Cry Cry Cry’, her aspirations extend beyond movies.

“I have a lot of ambitions but mostly making movies and maybe making some more music videos,” she admits. “There are loads of things I want to do that I haven’t yet accomplished.”

The High Note is set to be released in Australia on September 24.

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