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Dakota Johnson Loved Witchcraft Long Before ‘Suspiria’

The "Lost Daughter" star has been bewitching audiences for years, which is in line with her childhood crush.

SUSPIRIA, Dakota Johnson, 2018. © Amazon Studios/courtesy Everett Collection

Dakota Johnson, “Suspiria”

©Amazon/Courtesy Everett Collection / Everett Collection

There’s no spell necessary to adore Dakota Johnson’s filmography.

The “50 Shades of Grey” alum is currently on the awards circuit for her scene-stealing turn opposite Olivia Colman in Maggie Gyllenhaal’s “The Lost Daughter,” and Johnson’s two films at the 2022 Sundance Festival — “Cha Cha Real Smooth” and “Am I OK?” — both landed at major streaming services. (“Cha Cha Real Smooth,” which Johnson also produced, found a home at Apple TV+, with “Am I OK?” scooped up by HBO Max.)

But some may argue that it was 2018’s “Suspiria” remake that truly first showcased Johnson’s haunting range. Luca Guadagnino revisited Dario Argento’s classic 1977 horror film by adding a new context of the German Autumn to create a larger-scale production, according to screenwriter David Kajganich.

“I went into just hard research about the history of witchcraft,” Kajganich told IndieWire. “[I was] just trying to figure out as practically as possible what a real coven in Berlin in 1977 might look like, and how it might behave, and what their rituals might involve. I did a lot of research that was really about how witchcraft and the fear of witches really was a fear of female empowerment. And how those two things…the feminist movement and this fear of the occult had points where they crossed paths, because they exist in a relationship with one another historically, in the sense that people (the patriarchy, if you will) takes its fear of the empowerment of women and creates a mythology for it. Often that has something to do with the occult, what’s hidden.”

Turns out, Johnson was already also somewhat of an expert on witchcraft, thanks to “The Craft.”

When asked who her childhood movie crush was, Johnson told British Vogue that it was “Jonathan Taylor Thomas, always,” but then she reached an awakening after watching the 1995 Neve Campbell film.

“Then I saw ‘The Craft’ and I was like, I love all of these girls,” Johnson said. “I think that was more a crush on witchcraft.”

And who said we can’t live out our childhood fantasies years later? No broom, cauldron, black cat, or pointy hat needed.

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