Dakota Johnson: Past Co-Stars Got ‘Annoyed’ When I Improv’d but Not on ‘Cha Cha Real Smooth’

"Because it's my movie [as a producer], nobody could tell me I couldn't do that."
Dakota Johnson, Cha Cha Real Smooth Tribeca premiere
Dakota Johnson
Andy Kropa/Invision/AP

Dakota Johnson felt creatively liberated working as both a first-time producer and a star on “Cha Cha Real Smooth.”

Johnson produced writer/director-star Cooper Raiff’s coming-of-age film about a Bar Mitzvah party starter DJ who falls for a single mother of an autistic teen girl, which screened at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival before premiering June 14 on AppleTV.

“A lot of this process was different, because we worked on everything together,” Johnson told Entertainment Tonight about working with “Shithouse” director Raiff. “Depending on what we shot, and how it went, and if anything was improvised or if we didn’t get something or we got extra whatever it was, then we would adjust further the following scene, so that it would make more sense or call back to a joke that was made that wasn’t previously in the script. So, just constantly updating, so that it was a real, cohesive story.”

Johnson added that being a producer also shut down anyone possibly getting “annoyed” with her creative process, something the “Fifty Shades of Grey” star has weathered in the past.

“Some people really do get annoyed, they’re like, ‘You’re just an actress, how could you know?’ but like, I have a brain in my head,” she added. “I guess now, because it’s my movie — well, because I was a producer on it — nobody could tell me I couldn’t do that.”

“Cha Cha Real Smooth” marked Johnson’s first project as a producer. Writer-director Raiff previously told Deadline that the script popped “wide open” after Johnson signed on for the “collaborative” filmmaking process.

The “Lost Daughter” actress also produced fellow 2022 Sundance film “Am I OK?,” with films “The End of Getting Lost” and “Daddio” (which she will star in) additionally in the works. As for acting, Johnson is entering the MCU with “Spider-Man” spinoff “Madame Web.”

“I’m so excited,” Johnson gushed to ET. “It’s always been a dream of mine to do some kind of, like, massive action movie. I always wanted to do, like, a female Indiana Jones. It’s pretty cool to be in the Marvel world, especially with a character that’s not so known. So, there’s a lot of space for us to make her very cool.”

And improvise some more, perhaps?

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