Dakota Johnson on Beauty, Authenticity, and Her Role as the Face of Gucci Bloom

Dakota Johnson

In today’s frenetic, oft-verbose world, Dakota Johnson is the rarest type of star: one who radiates “It” factor without saying much at all. The 29-year-old actress is perched on a velvet lounge chair in her suite at the Chateau Marmont, effortlessly backlit by Los Angeles’s requisite sunshine. She’s here to talk about being a face of Gucci’s Bloom fragrance, and she answers each of my questions slowly, thoughtfully, and with a quiet confidence you could assume comes from growing up in Hollywood ( Johnson is the daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, and the granddaughter of Hitchcock heroine Tippi Hedren). “As I get older, I realize that beauty is really the way that you treat people and the effect that you have on people,” she says.

In other words, Johnson is a strong believer in the tenet that actions speak louder than words. Last fall, the actor took to Instagram to share, of all things, her phone number. She encouraged women around the world to call and leave messages about their experiences and struggles. “In the first 30 minutes, I had about 8,000 voicemails, which is pretty remarkable,” she says. “Every day after that for the next two weeks, there were about 500 a day.” The calls keep coming, and Johnson is compiling them into a project that will help promote gender equality as part of her ambassadorship with Global Citizen. “It’s definitely not easy to listen to these voicemails, but I feel that it’s my duty, and I want to listen to what women have experienced,” she says.

Johnson seems to value that same kind of authenticity in others, namely Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele, with whom she collaborated for the brand’s Bloom fragrance campaign. “I think [Alessandro] just really likes people to be who they are instead of making them fit into a mould,” she says. “I love that Gucci really supports creativity and artistic integrity.”

In the campaign video, Johnson flutters around a dreamlike garden paradise alongside co-stars photographer Petra Collins and actor Hari Nef. The imagery is evocative of the fragrance itself, a floral blend of tuberose, jasmine bud extract, and Rangoon creeper (also known as Chinese honeysuckle). “Bloom is elegant, fresh, and very mystical. I like that,” she says. The Gucci Bloom family has recently expanded to include hand soap, body cream, and hair mist, which, when combined, enhance the fragrance’s staying power. Each is scented with Gocci di Fiori, a soft eau de toilette rendition of the original fragrance.

Johnson’s Gucci gig is just the latest in a quickly growing list that includes roles in Fifty Shades of Grey, A Bigger Splash, and most recently, Suspiria. In the supernatural psychological horror film, Johnson plays an American dancer who joins a Berlin-based ballet company run by a coven of witches. “Going to a dance studio after work on Fifty was a nice way to shake off the day and know that there was another project to look forward to.” she says. Next up, she’ll star in another horror, Wounds, alongside Armie Hammer, and The Peanut Butter Falcon alongside Shia Labeouf. “I feel very lucky,” she says.

Photos courtesy of Gucci.