How Dakota Johnson Channeled Stepdad Antonio Banderas for Madame Web Role

For her action-packed role in Madame Web, Dakota Johnson told E! News how she had to look no further for inspiration than to her stepdad Antonio Banderas.

In this case, the spider didn’t fall far from the web.

Dakota Johnson embarked on a new kind of artistic of role when it came to shooting the action-packed Madame Web. But for the 34-year-old, she had a longtime role model to look to in her stepfather Antonio Banderas.

“I remember growing up with him, and how he would train for things and get ready for stuff,” Dakota exclusively told E! News at the movie’s premiere Feb. 12. “I’m disciplined, and take care of my body and do the proper training needed—he’s really hard core with that stuff—but I learned a lot from him.” (For more of Dakota’s interview, tune into E! News on Feb. 13 at 11 p.m.)

In addition to The Mask of Zorro alum—who was married to Dakota’s mom Melanie Griffith for 15 years—the Fifty Shades of Grey alum had another support system on-set with her: costars Sydney Sweeney, Celeste O’Connor and Isabela Merced.

In fact, when it came to the Euphoria star, Dakota noted, “She’s such an amazing actress, and really has such an incredible work ethic.”

Dakota Johnson’s Most Candid Quotes
And the feeling between the actors is mutual. As Sydney gushed of her costar, “I’ve been a fan of hers since I was a lot younger.”

Celeste too expressed admiration of Dakota, sharing how much of a role model she was on set.

“It was genuinely so refreshing to have that kind of leadership. It made me so much more comfortable,” the 25-year-old said, while Isabela added, “She really is like a big sister.”

But while their bond might be deep, there is one place where Dakota isn’t—and that’s in her three Gen Z-aged costars’ group chat.

“I don’t think they include me. I’m older than them,” the Persuasion actress quipped, “and they make sure that I’m aware of that.”

To see more of the Madame Web cast interviews, tune into E! News tonight at 11 p.m. and don’t miss the film’s premiere on Feb. 14.

Until then, keep reading for more of Dakota and Antonio’s sweetest moments over the years.

Dakota Johnson had her first acting role in Antonio Banderas’ directorial debut, 1999’s Crazy in Alabama, which starred her mother, Melanie Griffith. Johnson played Sondra in the movie, which didn’t mark the first time she had spent time with her stepfather on a set, telling Architectural Digest that she once delivered an Easter basket to Madonna while Banderas was filming Evita with the pop star in Budapest in 1996.

Those memories are still cherished by Banderas, who previously said, “She’s my daughter, I love her. I’ve been with her on my shoulders, traveling all around the world.”

While Johnson wowed in a gold Gucci dress at the 2017 Academy Awards, it wasn’t the first time she attended the major event. In 2000, a then 10-year-old Johnson accompanied her stepfather and mom to the Oscars. Wearing a purple dress and jacket, Johnson even did interviews with the couple, chatting with the late Joan Rivers, adorably turning to Griffith to ask, “Um…is it?” when Rivers asked if this was her first Oscars.

“Dakota called me Paponio, which is a mixture between papa, which is ‘daddy’ in Spanish, and Antonio,” he told Vulture of the adorable nickname she had given him while growing up. “I am her Antonio papa, so Paponio.”

Johnson got emotional when she presented an award to Banderas at the 2019 Hollywood Film Awards.

“I come from a family of many a marriage and I got very lucky,” Johnson, whose dad is actor Don Johnson, said. “I got a bonus dad who I realized that, over time, is actually one of the most influential people in my whole life,” she said. “When I was six years old, my mother married a man who brought an unbelievably bright light and a whole new world of creativity and culture—and one remarkably magical little sister into our family.”

Tearing up, Johnson continued, “My stepfather—f*#k! Antonio Banderas burst into our lives. He was so vibrant and so fun and so funny and his English was abstract and we found it absolutely amazing. He loved my mother, and my siblings and I so big, and so fiercely and so loud, that it would change all of our lives together.”

After accepting the award, Banderas returned the favor, sweetly shouting out Johnson and her sister, Stella, 25.

“I want to dedicate this to two people that I love, one is right here, Dakota, for something very simple, because you always call me papi, and still now you call me papi and I love that!” the Pain and Glory actor said on stage. “You have no idea how much I love that!”

At the 31st Palm Springs International Film Festival several weeks later, Banderas revealed to E! News that he had no idea that Johnson would be giving such a touching speech.

“It was all a surprise,” he said. “Totally. I mean, I knew that she was going to give the speech, but I had no idea whatsoever how she was going to just do her speech, she didn’t tell me anything.”

It was a poignant moment as it confirmed to him that the two decades they spent as a family meant just as much to her as they did to him.

“I thought and felt that all of those years,” Banderas admitted. “But I knew that it was a confirmation that all of those years that Melanie and I spent together, they were years that was not only just about Melanie and me, they were about the family. They were worth it all.”

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