Dakota Johnson covers ELLE in a ’50 Shades’ inspired shoot: tragic or cute?


Dakota Johnson covers the new issue of ELLE. Do you even recognize her? Right? It’s like they morphed her face with Lea Michele and Zooey Deschanel, I think. Thankfully, Dakota does look a bit more like herself in the other shots, just not the cover. As for the editorial… I can’t say I completely hate it. I mean, she’s a virtual unknown who scored a role in a film that most people are going to hate-watch, for laughs. So I don’t have a problem with her trying to look sexy in a budget Fifty Shades-inspired shoot. I do like the lingerie featured – the thigh-highs are really good quality. And while you know I’m hating the bangs, her hair looks good here, much better than in the set photos we’ve seen. The clothes? Meh. You can see the slideshow here, and here are some highlights from the interview:

On what interested her most while reading Fifty Shades of Grey: “Reading the book, I found myself more interested in the ways they were breaking each other down emotionally than the sex scenes. I think there’s a part of a woman that wants to be the thing that breaks a man down.”

On having the chops & sexual honesty needed for the role of Anastasia: “I don’t have any problem doing anything. The secret is I have no shame.”

What it’s really like to grow up having famous parents: “I think people, especially the press, like to pick on children of famous people and I think that’s f–king awful. Things get made up. It’s so, so sad. And there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it as a 16-year-old. You’re like….Why? What did I do?”

[From Elle]

Well, it’s good that she has no shame. Shamelessness is going to get her through this movie and the reviews for it. As for “I think there’s a part of a woman that wants to be the thing that breaks a man down.” I kind of get what she’s saying. Is that wrong?



Photos courtesy of Carter Smith/ELLE.

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55 Responses to “Dakota Johnson covers ELLE in a ’50 Shades’ inspired shoot: tragic or cute?”

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  1. GlimmerBunny says:

    She actually looks pretty here! I usually think she’s SO bland.

  2. blue marie says:

    Oh, no. I think she blends into the background, especially on the cover.

  3. BendyWindy says:

    Her head doesn’t seem to match her body in that cover shot. The proportions look off to me. I think she’s a very, very average looking girl.

  4. greenmonster says:

    At first glance I thought this was Sophie Marceau.

  5. Allie says:

    The hair looks so fake, it’s distracting. She really is just bland.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I agree. There is something about the way it is laying that makes her face seem like it is really buried under there. Her face seems far away or something!

      I think her poses look really awkward. The top 2 especially. Her shoulders are up, which looks like she has anxiety.

    • balehead2012 says:

      I agree. She really looks kind of bland in these photos. She’s not ugly or anything, just…I don’t know, awkward.
      Did the press ever pick on her for being the daughter of two famous parents? I’m asking a serious question, because I have never even heard of her before.

  6. BreeinSEA says:

    Meh, more power to her. I still think she was cute in The Social Network. She looked like a cute average college girl.

  7. daisy says:

    But thank God for those famous parents, otherwise she wasn’t getting in the door.

  8. littlestar says:

    Who the heck are her parents?! I don’t know anything about this girl, so I really did not know she has famous parents.

    She’s kind of bland in my opinion. The photos are pretty, but I don’t get any sexiness off of her, if that’s what they were trying to go for with that Lolita-like shoot.

  9. Brown Eyed Girl says:

    i cant wait for this movie. I think the fan girl casting heart attacks were stupid because the books werent very descriptive anyway of what the characters looked like and casting has a lot to do with working with the salary reqs and actor chemistry. I’m happy they picked virtual unknowns for this film as they have more to gain and less to lose.

    I’m making my husband take me as payback for every marvel movie Ive had to see in the past 5 years we’ve been married. he’s so not excited haha
    I wonder if its going to be R or NC 17

  10. Marianne says:

    I find her so bland and very “meh”.

  11. Relli says:

    Every time I look at her I think wow Melanie really screwed with her face.

    I probably will not see this movie until I hits cable. But I have like her in almost everything I have seen her in, that silly who she was on for one season and the 5 year engagement.

  12. Corrie says:

    The bangs are the worst idea ever… shes cute, sexy but the BANGS. killed it.

  13. Nikkie says:

    Poor girl. This shoot is so try-hard. There is nothing sexy about her. Very plain looking girl. Oh Hollywood nepotism.

  14. Sullivan says:

    I don’t mind that she looks “average” or “bland.” Many times, those are the ones who use their personalities and hone their talent because they can’t just skate through life solely on their looks. Having said that, I know absolutely nothing about this actress.

  15. Size Does Matter says:

    Here, let me contort and pose-hard next to the laundry hamper – it will be EPIC! 50 Shades of Grey, brought to you by Tide With Bleach. I missed the detergent sponsorship opportunity until now.

  16. smee says:

    If it weren’t for her parents, she never would have gotten this famous.

  17. Diana says:

    “I think there’s a part of a woman that wants to be the thing that breaks a man down.” Except that’s not what happens on those piece of cr@p books. They are just the cycle of abuse X 3 and that is about it.

    • MollyMaxwell says:

      It’s so true. I actually felt gross after I finished the first book (I just read the awesome Jenny Trout recaps of the other two) and kind of ashamed about where we are as a people that books touting on-going and escalating domestic abuse as “romantic” are so popular. Ick.

      P.S. If you want to read some awesome female-empowering erotica, I can’t recommend the S.E.C.R.E.T. books by L. Marie Adeline enough. I saw her speak and she wrote them as a direct counterpoint to the 50 Shades books.

  18. mess says:

    Epic casting fail

    • Olivia says:

      I would bet EL James thinks the casting is perfect since Dakota has been “created” to look like a younger and thinner version of her. Everyone knows EL wrote the book as a fantasy story made up of Rob Pattinson and herself as Bella. the haircut and color are a dead give away.

  19. Nerd Alert says:

    I had to google pics of Melanie Griffith before plastic surgery to find a resemblance.

    Also? The first book was horrible, and I stopped reading it. Woman cannot write. She’s only slightly better than Stephenie Meyer, and that is NOT a compliment.

    • MrsBPitt says:

      same here….I got less than half way through, and gave up….the book was stupid, and the writing was amateurish…I love romantic, erotic novels, but this trash was neither!

      • Nerd Alert says:

        I agree! I’m always down for some good, sordid, trashy reading material but this read like it wasn’t even edited. I couldn’t get past how utterly stupid the narration was. Just like with Twilight, I cannot understand how this book (series) got so popular, but at least Twilight was supposed to be for girls, not women.

  20. lunchcoma says:

    Ugly shoes, clothing that almost matches but not quite. bland interior design…what does this remind me of? Oh, yeah, the last time I watched an unexpectedly dull porn movie and got distracted by the production values. But maybe that’s what Elle was going for?

  21. Ash says:

    I just don’t see her appeal. I can’t even remember even of the work she’s done. Maybe, this movie will put her in a place that people will go, “Wow.”

    Definitely not what I pictured to play Anastasia.

  22. alleycat says:

    I think she’s so pretty, not bland at all, and I loved her in that sitcom Ben & Kate. She’s really funny. I’m worried this movie will derail what could have been an interesting career though. Also, these photos are TOTALLY tragic. It looks like they broke into someone’s apartment, ransacked a closet for cute clothes, and threw them on Dakota without any regard for matching or even making sense. And then they took a bunch of oddly composed photos and ran out before they got caught.

    • pamspam says:

      I loved Ben & Kate and was really sad when it didn’t get picked up for a second season. I thought she was really good and totally likable in it. I’m not interested in seeing this movie, but I hope it helps her get some better roles in the future.

  23. Devyn says:

    Tragic. This girl is just not attractive.

    Also, she got the cover of ELLE already??? Yea, mommy and daddy definitely dropped their names to land her this. The movie isn’t even close to coming out yet.

    And it cracks me up how people try to talk about the “emotional” parts of the book. Lmao! Umm, no. I’ve read (or tried to read) those books and they are some of the worst written things I’ve ever read. Even the sex isn’t good. The fact that anyone wants to be associated with this pos film is laughable. It’s gonna be god awful. I bet she thinks she’s gonna get critical acclaim too lol

  24. loveisthecoal says:

    I LOVE the coat she’s wearing in the last picture. Going to have to look for something similar in my price range!

  25. Dommy Dearest says:

    She’s not cute.

  26. maggie brown says:

    I think that was a very astute comment, “I think there’s a part of a woman that wants to be the thing that breaks a man down.” I’ve been there, however I definitely have some shame in that.

  27. Katija says:

    Aggressively promote a movie that comes out Valentine’s Day of 2015 starting around Valentine’s Day of 2014?

    I shudder to think what Xmas of 2014 is going to look like. Secret police who come to your house and torment your family until you sign a contract promising that you’ll see 50 Shades of Grey opening weekend.

  28. Sayrah says:

    Wow, an open mouth with a vacant look in her eyes. How original!!

  29. cynicalsmirk says:

    If those are her own unphotoshopped legs, they’re very nice.

  30. alihar says:

    Good grief people……she’s a pretty girl. Is she Angelina Jolie….NO….but why always so critical? Lets get pictures of all of you and see if you are stunning enough to be so critical.

  31. Mary says:

    I think she’s cute in a real people kind of way. As in, I went to shool with someone who looks a lot like her. Maybe that’s why this shoot feels so weird and awkward? There is no drama or charisma there. That is probably what I would look like if someone put me in fancy lingerie, shoved a camera in my face and told me to look “sensual”.
    I hope she ups her game for the movie or it’s going to be an awkward mess (it propably will anyway).

  32. Sachi says:

    What’s with her eyes? She looks uncomfortable in every shot. She looks like she was being coached how to pose, hence the eyes always looking to the left. Is that supposed to be her looking at Christian Grey for directions?

  33. Maureen says:

    I think she looks ridiculous in these photos. She doesn’t exude a shred of sexuality to me, so these poses just look embarrassing. Granted, I’m not a man nor a lesbian, so maybe I”m not the best judge? Well, I think even straight people can sense sexual energy from their same gender. She comes across very boring!

  34. grabbyhands says:

    Apparently Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith have enough pull to get their kid on the cover of Elle. If that interview was supposed to stoke interest in the movie, I’d rate it a fail. I can’t wait to see the spin when it tanks.

    • Maureen says:

      They will blame America. Specifically, middle America. You have a director who is married to a man she slept with and made a daddy while he was an 18 year old boy on her movie set. You have a lead actor who has a track record of nudity and playing brutal, woman-hating characters. You have a lead actress who admits to being willing to do anything and secretly having no shame. Therefore, you can bet that when the movie bombs it will be “conservative” America’s fault because we’re so PURITANICAL, because we’re just NOT COMFORTABLE WITH SEX, because we JUST DON’T GET IT. It will be because we are stupid, un-cultured, knuckle-draggers.

      It WON’T be the fault of all the people involved for making a movie out of a piece of sh*t fan fiction written by a middle-aged woman with a kink for Robert Pattinson fantasy, and trying to pass it off as progressive and innovative high art.

  35. Apple says:

    To be fair, in the book (yes I read them before all the hoopla) ugh, sorry forgive me.

    Anastasia isn’t a great beauty, she is a pretty girl, that doesn’t care or doesn’t know how pretty she is but she is no grand beauty compared to Christian Grey. Christian doesn’t want a super model. He is attracted to Ana’s innocence and wants to covet it for himself.

    So she shouldn’t be super hot, but a brown haired ratty girl that he can his rocks off tying her up and controlling her sexually. I actually think she is well cast for the part. But by the time this movie finally comes out after being oversaturated in the media it will so flop. I pray they will drop the last two movies and it doesn’t hurt Jamie’s career he is a good actor. Check out The Fall on Netflix.

    Think ‘Whitney’ and how overboard NBC went promoting the show and turning viewers away in droves.