While more well-known actresses like Emma Watson, Nina Dobrev and even Jennifer Lawrence were rumored to be up for Fifty Shades of Grey's lead female role, E.L. James announced today that Dakota Johnson will bring Ana (and her inner goddess!) to life.
Fans of the trilogy have been waiting for official word on casting since Sam Taylor-Johnson was named director of the film adaptation earlier this year. Despite rumors last week that news would come after the Labor Day holiday, James broke her silence on casting via Twitter today when she said, "I am delighted to let you know that the lovely Dakota Johnson has agreed to be our Anastasia in the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey."
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So just who is Dakota Johnson? The young actress may be a relative unknown to most people, but her acting career has had some notable moments. Here's what you need to know:
1. This won't be her first time as a lead actress! Dakota helmed the short-lived Fox sitcom Ben and Kate as the titular Kate. Unfortunately, the show only lasted one season, but (who knows?) she might not have been available to play Ana if the show had been a hit.
2. She shared a bed on the big screen before, too. In 2010's The Social Network, Dakota played another young co-ed and woke up next to Justin Timberlake's Sean Parker. Not too shabby if you ask us!
3. Acting runs in the family. Her parents are actors Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, and if that's not enough, Antonio Banderas is her step-dad.
4. While Ana plays down her looks, Dakota has been a model. The actress signed with top modeling agency IMG Models in 2006 and has been on covers of international fashion magazines like Spanish Glamour and L'Officiel.
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5. She and Ana have a few things in common. At 23, Dakota is roughly the same age as virginal Ana. And while Ana spends the film exploring her sexuality, this film will allow the comedic actress to explore her range in a dramatic role.
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