Dakota Johnson: Guest-starring on ‘The Office’ was ‘the worst time of my life’

I missed posting these photos from last weekend’s Brazilian premiere of Madame Web. Dakota Johnson apparently flew down solo to do a premiere event in Rio. She wore a custom “spider web” dress from Annie’s Ibiza, and the craftsmanship of the dress is very pretty. That being said, I mean… Zendaya did it better when she was promoting Spider-Man, all of those years ago.

Anyway, Dakota is obviously all over the news and gossip for her Madame Web promotion. She’s talking about how people shouldn’t call her a nepo baby! She’s talking about how she doesn’t understand the one meme from the film, the “he was in the Amazon with my mom when she was researching spiders right before she died” line. She’s also talking about one of her rare TV roles, when she appeared in The Office’s finale.

Dakota Johnson hilariously reminisced with Seth Meyers on “Late Night” about their appearances on the “The Office” series finale, which aired on NBC in May 2013. Johnson, who was still years out at the time from her breakthrough in the “Fifty Shades” franchise, appeared as a new accountant named Dakota. Meyers, meanwhile, was seen on a television doing a fictional version of “Weekend Update” from “Saturday Night Live.” Johnson was a big fan of “The Office,” so she jumped at the chance to be a guest star on the last episode.

“That was honestly the worst time of my life,” Johnson quipped. “They were like, ‘Do you want to be in the series finale?’ And I was like, ‘Of course,’ thinking that I’d show up for like half a day. I was there for two weeks. And I’m barely in the f–king show.”

Asked by Meyers if it was sad being on the set for the last episode, Johnson answered: “There were weird dynamics that had been going on for the last 10 years. Some people didn’t speak to each other. And I’m coming in like ‘So excited to be here!’ No one wanted to talk to me. No one gave a f–k…I was like in the background of all of these scenes, faxing things.”

[From Variety]

I mean, Mindy Kaling has said/indicated as much, that after so long on the air, there were a lot of internal politics in The Office and some beefs and such. Plus, it was the finale! You can’t expect to come in as a new person for the finale and expect them to roll out the red carpet. Anyway, I didn’t expect Dakota to go that hard about her experience but it is what it is. I’m sure The Office fans will be mad at her.

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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52 Responses to “Dakota Johnson: Guest-starring on ‘The Office’ was ‘the worst time of my life’”

  1. SquiddusMaximus says:

    Not really a fan of Dakota’s — bland white unimpressive legacy actor if I ever saw it — but this is kind of juicy! I loved The Office and would jump at any dysfunctional family dynamic insight. WHO wasn’t speaking??!! Does anyone know?

    Also: Dakota has lovely hair and an irritatingly smug face. I suppose years of being Goop adjacent will do that to you. Chris Martin also comes across as smug and snide.

    • Lizzie Bathory says:

      If I had to guess, I’d say Mindy & B.J. They had a romantic plotline in the finale & people have been open for years about the fact that the writers would do storylines about them hooking up when they were on the outs with one another. Everyone else has seemed consistently tight, though I’m sure emotions were high with it being a series finale & with The Farm spin-off not being picked up.

      • JesMa says:

        I don’t think so because Mindy and BJ are still super tight. He seems like her best friend. I’m so curious though.

      • Kitten says:

        Yeah they’re super-tight NOW but it’s easy for me to believe that in the peak of their up-and-down relationship, there was some tension and awkwardness in the scenes between them.

        But honestly, the beef could be between anyone and most of it is probably just regular “my co-worker is annoying me today” kinda shit. I bet the cast is on good terms now that the show has run its course.

      • VALERIE says:

        Rainn Wilson (Dwight) has done a lot of podcast (Bill Maher, Neal Brennan Blocks) lately and wrote a book saying his days on ”the Office” were his most miserable one because he was jealous of Steve and John career versus his who went no where. He is transparent saying it was all his fault and his bad head space etc but my guess is that played on set.

    • Normades says:

      Yes I totally want to hear about this inside Office beef. Do spill people!

    • Lisa says:

      Not sure why you feel the need to mention Dakota’s race. Like we can see all her faults and lack of grace without it, honestly it just says more about you.

      Though I have never heard Mindy Kaling say anything about the office having issues. Being what I have heard about her specifically from people in the industry maybe people had issues with Mindy.

      Seems like the other cast got a long pretty well. But I would love to know more.

    • Flan says:

      Squid you are really classy using race as a negative adjective.

  2. manda says:

    She comes across as being disagreeable and “I don’t understand” just to be that way, which I find exhausting. Why did people think that line from Madame Web was funny? Because it was sort of ridiculous? Sometimes a sentence is just funny

    Totally don’t remember her on the office

    • SquiddusMaximus says:

      To answer your question about the line: It is mocked because of her terrible acting coupled with the worst bit of screenwriting since “Somehow, Palpatine came back.”

    • KASalvy says:

      It’s because she wasn’t memorable at all. The finale was over 10 years ago. Dakota was barely “famous” at the time, and still mainly because of her parents. She was essentially a background actor.

      Also, girl just seems to complain a lot. A LOT. About everything and everyone.

  3. Happyoften says:

    She is one of those “Less is more” stars. The less I hear what she thinks, the more interesting I find her to be.

    She doesn’t think anyone gives her special treatment because of her parents, and then is put off when no one treats her special. Pick a lane.

    And stop letting your dresses take you for a walk like that.

    • ML says:

      Well said, HappyOften! I love the juxtaposition of not wanting to be accused of being a nepobaby and her disgruntlement over her experience in The Office. And, yes, ITA that the dress is wearing her. It looks like a costume.

  4. North of Boston says:

    “I was like in the the background of all these scenes, faxing things.” “No one wanted to talk to me”

    I feel like the nepotism baby in her is rearing its head in those comments. She was basically an extra. A lot of times the stars, featured players don’t hang out with all the extras, and producers aren’t thinking “we’ve had this actor here the entire shoot, better make sure their best scenes make the final edit” in the finale of the10 year run of an iconic show with LOTS of moving parts. Why would *she* expect to be treated differently. (Is she used to getting special attention, treatment for *some* reason? What could it possibly be? LOL)

    It’s possible she was being self-deprecating or joking or clever. But aside from her appearance on Ellen, she hasn’t really come off as sly, clever, self-deprecating to me. And even that appearance could have played out the exact same way even if she was just being flatly honest vs trying to hang Ellen out to dry for lying.

    (Caveat, I haven’t watched the interview so her delivery might change my impression)

    • Becks1 says:

      Agreed. What did she expect from the cast in general, and especially as they were filming the finale? They’re going to be emotional, tensions will be high, and she’s just an extra, not really “guest starring” even if she is Melanie Griffith’s daughter.

    • Kitten says:

      Yeah I could see how what she said might be less annoying on camera than by just reading it but COME ON. You’re not gonna be the star on the series finale of a hit show that you were never actually on. Nobody watching the finale GAF about Dakota’s role as an extra lol.

    • Sandra says:

      I’ll save you the time – watching it does not help her come across any better. She is just whining that she wasn’t treated special.

      No wonder she wants people to stop talking about the nepo conversation, but at the same time she doesn’t have anything substantial to contribute to pretty much any conversation I have seen her try to “participate” in.

      IMO Ellen thing was a one-off where she came off as not-awful.

  5. Seraphina says:

    Disclaimer, I am a HUGE Office fan – I don’t even recall her being in the finale. And she sounds so spoiled and pampered saying what she said. She is not Maryl Streep. She needs to get over herself – because when she speaks she gives validity to the fact she is a nepo Hollywood baby.
    And well said @Happyoften
    Also watched the clip and she BEGINS to come across as funny, but that nepo baby syndrome does come out.
    Bravo to Seth on his comment on her faxing, because she has no depth when acting speaking parts.

    • Lizzie Bathory says:

      She’s in one scene in the office bullpen & speaks briefly with Creed when walking to Angela & Dwight’s wedding ceremony. It’s more than a lot of guest actors would have been featured (in a series finale!), so it really does come across like sour grapes.

  6. Sarah says:

    Ugh she is exhausting. She was there for the finale, of course the cast was emotional and not tripping over themselves to kiss her rear! She apparently was in a storyline with Dwight Junior (blanking on his real name lol) and it mostly got cut. Pooooor little nepo baby!

  7. JanetDR says:

    I do not recognize her at all in the photos in the spiderweb dress. Just me?

  8. M says:

    I think seeing what she said in print makes it sound way worse than watching it. I mean imagine you getting the chance to be on The Office. You’d probably have little scenarios in your head about having pleasant interactions and people laughing between takes on this pretty funny show. But then you show up and it’s not like that. People aren’t relaxed and warm and welcoming because it’s the last show ever and yeah some people aren’t talking. That’s awkward and a bummer of an overall atmosphere!
    Haven’t you ever had your first day of anything where you feel like the odd one out? That’s what she’s describing. Just watch.

    • Kitten says:

      Yeah I hear ya and I hate to over-analyze and parse every word of a celeb but she comes across as a bit ungrateful here. If she had just ended her comments with “but that’s ok because I know Office fans weren’t watching to see me. It was still a unique experience” or something similar, she would come across as more appreciative and self-aware.

    • AmB says:

      Sure, but years on, grown-up people get over these little professional disappointments. They might even gain some perspective over time that the expectations that led to their disappointment might have been just a teensy bit unrealistic.

      She keeps coming across as self-important and entitled, and I haven’t yet found a reason to be interested in anything she has to say. (shrug)

    • WiththeAmerican says:

      Not really. She knows all about the industry and she was a featured extra, basically. Her expectations were way out of line with her role.

      Most extras are in a separate area from the main cast and the directors, etc.

      Frankly she comes across as so spoiled I’d never hire her after this. Just ridiculous.

  9. NMB says:

    She sounds like an insufferable nepo baby complaining about having to work for two weeks. My cousins are trying to make it in Hollywood and they’d give ANYTHING to have the chance to be on a hit show, have two week’s worth of a paycheck even just to be a glorified extra.

  10. lucy2 says:

    I feel like by that point, all of the actors on the show had talked for years about the hours of background work they did on that show, I’m not sure why it was that much of a surprise to her? Whatever. I’m sure it was a weird time to come in to a tight cast, but sometimes we don’t need to say everything we think, right?

  11. Bumblebee says:

    She so obviously doesn’t realize the advantages she got from her famous parents. Her first TV role at the very beginning of her career. For most people, looking back, that job would be remembered as an important step. For her, it’s a joke or complaint.

  12. MaryContrary says:

    I think what she’s saying is funny-but it’s one of those things that doesn’t come across well in print. People need to chill. And honestly-the most refreshing part of her being a nepo baby is that she kind of has zero-fs to give. She doesn’t need to suck up to certain people. (The Ellen interview comes to mind.)

  13. Elle says:

    “I was so incredibly thrilled and honored to be on the series finale of The Office, one of the most beloved tv shows in the United States at the time, which remains incredibly popular to this day, which is a testament to the incredibly clever writing and excellent acting of everyone involved. Given that it was the series finale, I wasn’t able to spend much time interacting with most of the cast members, and I just had a small role as an extra, but I will be forever grateful for the experience.”

    There. I fixed it for her.

  14. Kokiri says:

    Well, she’s interviewed herself right out of me being a fan.
    What an obnoxious twit.
    Also that first photo of her is horrible.

    She’s attached to a new movie with Chris Evans & Pedro Pascal. So yeah, Dakota, you’re a nepo baby because there’s no way your acting even comes close to those 2 fellas. It will definitely be a skip for me.

    • laurie says:

      Oh no!!!!!! Two of my favorite actors and now she’s going to spoil it 🤬
      I find her really odd looking. The mashup of Don and Melanie results in facial components that don’t go together.

    • WiththeAmerican says:

      I can’t remember what it is but we were watching a movie in which she starred and suddenly someone stood up and turned off the TV and everyone applauded.

      She’s really hard to watch, just no talent, no pretense, but the smug.

  15. Snarkle says:

    Chris Martin really has a type:
    Smug, condescending, entitled twigs.

    That said, I think she’s probably smart and often trying to be funny or ironic but her deadpan delivery and lack of affect /blunted facial expression makes it completely fail to translate.

  16. Shawna says:

    The worst time of your life?

    Way to sound like (wait for it) a nepo baby.

  17. Lisa says:

    I really don’t get why she has to be so nasty about stuff. Like most actors would kill for a chance to break in on one of the bigger finales on TV. I mean I get she is a nepo baby and didn’t need it but like this is why people talk about the nepo babies.

    I mean I bet there are so many actors working at Laurel Hardware (restaurant in LA) that would have killed to have two weeks working at the Office.

    Now that being said I would love to know the tea on the people not getting along because I have never heard anything like that from what I have heard they are all pretty close but maybe not.

  18. KMAC says:

    I LOVE Dakota Johnson!! LOL she keeps it real and manages to piss off the masses at the same time, cannot wait to see Madame Web. <3

  19. Sass says:

    Lmfaooooo we literally just finished watching the series with our teenagers (they loved it) and I didn’t even realize who she was, I seriously thought to myself “I wonder who this actress is, I’ve never seen her in anything since” 🤣 which is TRUE, because everything she’s done since has been terrible and I wasn’t interested. Also every time I see her name I just think it’s Dakota Fanning and when I see the photo I go “oh, her.”

  20. First comment says:

    Not at all surprised to hear about the internal beefs, which I’m sure contributed to the show being as lackluster as it was, most of the time. And I’d bet at least one of the beefs involved Rain Wilson. He seems like such an entitled prig.

    Craig Robinson was the best thing about that show

  21. Sherry says:

    OMG, she is the ultimate nepo baby! Never had to struggle for anything. And she is a very mediocre actress.

  22. East Villager says:

    I kind of feel this because (I’m not an actor) but I’ve been in workplaces before where there was a lot of open hostility that had nothing to do with me, and it was absolutely miserable. Impossible to not take it personally. I liked how she called out Ellen. I liked her in “The Lost Daughter.” I like that she kind of stays out of the spotlight. I hope she has a real star-making role in her future, like Working Girl.

    • ElleE says:

      @EastVillager
      I had to chime in because I had a really memorable experience at an office where I would spend so much time wondering why this secretary wouldn’t talk to me or look at me.

      One day we had an office meeting and it turned out that she was a victim of domestic violence, and the partners had paid for her and her daughter to relocate to Texas, and we needed to be aware of the threat. Her husband posed to the office. She probably never thought about me once!

      • East Villager says:

        Oh my god! I hope she’s safe today! Yeah, this kind of stuff happens, and sometimes workplaces just blow and the long-time folks are disgruntled and unwelcoming to new people because it’s too painful to pretend things are great. It really sucks to be in a situation like that when it feels directed at you, personally, for any amount of time!

  23. ElleE says:

    I really like Dakota bc growing up in Hollywood could have turned her into a statistic instead, she’s someone that’s out here working for a living & is interesting to watch on screen.

    It’s weird, but I like seeing her talk? I think I just like her voice.

    And she’s clearly flexes on being at the Hollywood elite because she gets to say a lot of things that no up-and-coming or current actress (that wanted to work) would say out loud. Her interviews are fun and revealing.

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