Dakota Johnson knew she wanted to play Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey even before she read the books on which the movie is based. And her resolve only strengthened once she had a chance to actually sit down and review E.L. James' erotic trilogy, about a virginal college student who begins a sexually adventurous relationship with billionaire Christian Grey (to be played in the film adaptation by Jamie Dornan).
"I just really understand it," Johnson, 24, tells Entertainment Weekly of the romance. "I think it's an incredible love story, and that's why it's affected so many people. Erica [author E.L. James] did a really good job of explaining how that just can happen sometimes and you have this chemical pull to someone. Adding in the sex makes it perfect. Sometimes you feel a little bit naughty, and that's okay."
The actress -- whose parents are Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson -- also opens up to EW about her audition for the movie, which was top secret. According to the mag, no one except her boyfriend, fellow actor Jordan Masterson, knew she was even up for the part.
The day she learned she got the role -- beating out a who's who of more well-known actresses -- she was in New York at a friend's apartment. "The phone rang, and I remember looking out of this apartment to an apartment across the street," she recalls. "And I was looking at all of these people in their windows. And I thought, 'How funny would it be if I were watching people having sex right now?'"
"They said, 'You got the offer,' and I couldn't speak," she continues. "I was just so relieved. I was crying and crying. Water was literally squirting out of my eyes because I had been so stressed out. And there's this giant Doberman Pincher laying on the bed next to me. And he just slowly fell asleep. It was so special and [this dog] didn't give a f--k about me and what I was going through."