"Singing in front of people is actually so terrifying for me," Dakota Johnson said on Tuesday night's The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

By Eric Todisco
January 20, 2021 10:54 AM

Dakota Johnson is opening up about experiencing a panic attack while shooting her forthcoming film Our Friend.

During a virtual appearance on The Tonight Show on Tuesday night, the 31-year-old actress told host Jimmy Fallon that she suffered a panic attack before filming her first singing scene in the new comedy-drama flick.

"That was so scary," she said of singing in the film. "I have a little bit of stage fright, like when I come on your show I get really nervous and I laugh and then cry — most of the time."

"Singing in front of people is actually so terrifying for me," Johnson admitted. "We had to shoot this scene where you don't even really see me, the camera is in the back, you can't even really tell what is going on. I was meant to be performing in community theater, and they hit playback of my vocal recording and called, 'Action,' and it was like I had a panic attack that manifested in all the ways that it does, that it can."

Dakota Johnson
Dakota Johnson
| Credit: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

The Fifty Shades star said that immediately after hearing her vocals, she "took off running, around this theater, around backstage. I was running around and then just started laughing hysterically, and everyone on the crew's like, 'What is she doing?' "

"Running around, laughing, and then just stopped moving and started crying," she added.

When Fallon, 46, asked what caused her panic attack, Johnson responded: "I don't know, it took over. I got so scared. It was extreme flight mode."

Our Friend, which was filmed in Fairhope, Alabama, is based on a true story and stars Johnson as the terminally-ill Nicole Teague, whose husband Matthew Teague (Casey Affleck) gets the help of his best friend, Dane Faucheux (Jason Segal), to care for Nicole. Jake Owen also stars in the film as Aaron, a friend of Dane's.

Casey Affleck; Dakota Johnson
Casey Affleck, Dakota Johnson in Our Friend
| Credit: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment/Youtube

Johnson teased the film during her Tonight Show interview, telling Fallon that it features "pain" but also "levity and love."

"Throughout this story, tumbling over the years, it's about immense friendship and pain and torture and tragedy, " Johnson said, "but also humor and levity and love and most of all, just compassion."

Our Friend premieres in select theaters and on demand Jan. 22.