Dakota Johnson has opened up about her "complicated feelings" towards motherhood ahead of the release of her new movie, The Lost Daughter, based on the book of the same name by Elena Ferrante. The psychological drama, which also stars Olivia Coleman, follows a middle-aged mother as she navigates the surprise liberation she finds once her daughters have moved away, whilst simultaneously being captivated by the relationship of another mother and her own daughter.
Speaking about how the movie addresses the concept of becoming a parent, Johnson, who starred alongside Jamie Dornan in Fifty Shades of Grey, told The Times: "The film makes it OK to have complicated feelings about being a mother."
Despite playing a young mother in the movie, the 32-year-old pointed out she's currently undecided about whether she wants children herself. Her partner Chris Martin, who she has been with since 2017, has two children (aged 17 and 15) from his previous relationship with Gwyneth Paltrow. "For somebody like me, who isn’t yet a mother and maybe doesn’t want to be a mother, it [the film] makes that OK. Complicated, but OK," she added, reiterating her point.
On top of that, Johnson addressed how The Lost Daughter highlights the conversations we often don't have about motherhood – particularly how some mothers struggle with adjusting to their new role. "I am not a mother, but I know what it feels like to be scared or to be like, 'Will I be a good mother?'" she told the Hollywood Reporter. "But for some reason, there’s this stigma around talking about that. And there’s a stigma around having just the thought of, 'What if I walked out that f**king door? For a week or a minute for a cigarette.' But you’re not supposed to say that out loud. Why? It’s so human and so relatable'."
It's a topic that the film's director Maggie Gyllenhaal also wanted to emphasise. "I had all these things on my mind [as a mother], but didn’t see them represented anywhere," she told The Times. "I’ve made a film which is an expression of me and it’s about mothering. Because my identity as a mother is a massive part of who I am and that’s true for many women."
The Lost Daughter is due for release in the UK on Netflix on 31 December.
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