The actress calls her struggle with mental health "beautiful"

By Claudia Harmata
May 12, 2020 11:59 AM
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Credit: Steven Pan

Dakota Johnson is opening up about struggling with her mental health since she was a teenager.

In a new interview with Marie Claire, the 30-year-old actress spoke out about getting professional help for her mental health, and how she's learned to cope with it.

"I’ve struggled with depression since I was young—since I was 15 or 14," she recalled to the outlet. "That was when, with the help of professionals, I was like, 'Oh, this is a thing I can fall into.'"

"But I’ve learned to find it beautiful because I feel the world," Johnson explained. "I guess I have a lot of complexities, but they don’t pour out of me. I don’t make it anyone else’s problem."

Dakota Johnson
| Credit: Steven Pan

Those complexities are exactly what have propelled her forward in her career, helping her create mesmerizing characters onscreen, including in her upcoming film The High Note, in which she stars as Maggie, an overworked personal assistant to superstar Grace Davis (Tracee Ellis Ross).

"Maggie is so emotional and so open, but I didn’t want her to get totally blown over by the wind," Johnson said. "I think, especially for women, it’s such a hustle all the time. Maggie’s vulnerable, but it never stops her from going for the thing that is the most important to her."

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Her costar in the film, Ross, told the magazine that Johnson "is passionate and feels things deeply, but she’s also wonderfully charming and playful."

"She knows where she is and who she is and isn’t afraid to speak up," the actress said.

However, Johnson added that she wasn't always this assertive, admitting that there were times when she would have "no say" on set.

Dakota Johnson
| Credit: Steven Pan

“For a long time, I’d do a movie and have no say. I could go into something, and it’ll be one thing, and then it comes out as a totally different thing," she said. "As an artist, you’re like, 'What the f----?'"

“I definitely want to have my craft, my artistry, and my ideas respected and tossed around. I want to be part of the process,” Johnson explained. “I also have really specific taste.”

And her taste is being taken into account with her role in The High Note. Screenwriter Flora Greeson told Marie Claire that Johnson helped shape the Maggie people will see on screen.

“My version was this little trashy girl running around trying to keep her shit together,” Greeson said of the character. “Dakota was like, ‘I don’t want this character apologizing in every scene. That’s not what Maggie does.’”

The High Note was set to premiere in theaters May 8, however, due to the ongoing pandemic, it will be released on digital platforms May 29.