Dakota Johnson teases her ‘really good’ driving skills in ‘Madame Web’

Dakota Johnson, foreseeable future Rapidly & Furious star?

Since her breakout position in the Fifty Shades films, the 34-year-old actress has amassed an eclectic and amazing resume, from comedies like How to Be Solitary to buzzy indies like Suspiria and The Missing Daughter. Now, Johnson is suiting up to be part of the environment of superheroes, playing a clairvoyant heroine in Madame Net (out Feb. 14). In an exceptional interview with EW, Johnson opened up about becoming a member of the Marvel pantheon — and the high-velocity concealed talent she found out when filming.

“I obtained to do a day of stunt driving perform, and I’m definitely good at it, it would seem!” Johnson exclaims, speaking to EW by means of Zoom in January. “I imply, I can do some seriously wild issues with a motor vehicle. I drove an ambulance. I drove a taxicab. I drove almost everything in the motion picture — other than for flying as a result of the air and out of a developing. But other than that, I’m like, ‘Watch out, Tom Cruise.’”

Dakota Johnson and Sydney Sweeney in ‘Madame Web’.

Sony Photos

Johnson puts individuals newfound skills to the exam in Madame Net, the latest superhero flick set in Sony’s ever-expanding Marvel universe. Directed by SJ Clarkson (Jessica Jones), the film follows New York paramedic Cassandra Webb (Johnson) as she develops preternatural superpowers just after a freak accident, enabling her to see into the foreseeable future.

Clarkson originally attained out to Johnson about playing the titular world wide web-weaver in 2021, shortly just after the actress had finished filming The Lost Daughter. Her original response, Johnson admits, was skepticism: “I got despatched this script, and I was like, ‘I don’t know about me currently being a superhero.’” But the much more she study, the more she located herself drawn to Cassandra.

“I was kind of mystified by her powers,” Johnson provides. “I felt like, ‘Oh, I truly would love to see that superhero. I would enjoy to see a younger woman whose superpower is her mind.’”

Madame World-wide-web is element of Sony’s significant steady of Spider-Man figures, and at first look, she might appear like an odd choice for a solo motion picture: Denny O’Neil and John Romita Jr. established Cassandra in 1980 as a supporting character in the Spider-Male comics, introducing her as a blind and paralyzed elderly girl with telepathic skills. In Marvel comics, she spends most of her time hooked up to a web-like everyday living support process, guiding other heroes with her psychic powers. But Johnson and Clarkson say they needed to, ahem, weave their own model of Cassie’s journey, and they explain Madame Net as an “origin story” for the character.

“I truly enjoy the plan of any person who can see into the long run, but right up until they can truly have an understanding of their earlier and enjoy wherever they are, they simply cannot use that electricity,” Clarkson points out. “Without wanting to overload it with profundity, I assumed that is an amazing point to examine: If we have an understanding of our past and see in which we are in the present, we can then make greater choices for the future.”

Isabela Merced, Dakota Johnson, Sydney Sweeney, and Celeste O’Connor in ‘Madame Web’.

Sony Images

Set in 2003, the movie follows Cassie as she grapples with her newfound powers and faces off towards a mysterious enemy named Ezekiel Sims (Tahar Rahim). Ezekiel is hunting 3 younger women: Julia Cornwall (Sydney Sweeney), Mattie Franklin (Celeste O’Connor), and Anya Corazon (Isabela Merced). Those people are names that should sound acquainted to hardcore Spidey enthusiasts: In the comics, Julia, Mattie, and Anya all build spider-relevant powers, and in Madame World-wide-web, Ezekiel looks determined to prevent that from occurring. It’s up to Cassie to crew up with the youthful trio, serving to to defend them from Ezekiel’s watchful eye. (Adam Scott also appears in an unspecified role, and even though Clarkson remains tight-lipped about his character, she does tease that the Parks & Recreation alum is liable for advert-libbing some of the film’s funniest lines.)

Clarkson herself is no stranger to superhero fare, getting directed episodes of Netflix’s Marvel collection Jessica Jones and The Defenders. The British director admits that she under no circumstances considered herself a specific superhero admirer until performing on Jessica Jones, and she suggests she wanted to deliver a identical grounded, woman-led vibe to Madame Website.

“I liked the psychological, cerebral mother nature,” Clarkson claims. “Not to sound far too wanky about it, but it’s about what’s going on in [Cassie’s] head and her grappling with that. Is she heading crazy? Is this authentic? She’s battling with that in just herself and striving to fully grasp it.”

“It was really crucial to me that she’s seriously human and grounded in reality, and that her life feels like, ‘Oh, I can relate to that,’” Johnson adds. “Sometimes it is really hard to relate to another person shooting lasers out of their eyes.” The actress pauses, then smiles. “I suggest, not for me,” she deadpans. “I definitely do that all the time.”

Madame Net arrives as Sony carries on to establish its ever-increasing universe of Marvel figures: So considerably, the studio has unveiled films featuring Tom Hardy’s Venom and Jared Leto’s Morbius, and up subsequent, Aaron Taylor-Johnson will star in a Kraven the Hunter film (out Aug. 30). However, regardless of all those interconnected webs, Clarkson wanted to composition Madame World-wide-web as its own self-contained story. The director clarifies that compared with her clairvoyant heroine, she chose to concentration not on the long run but on the current.

“She’s unquestionably in a standalone environment,” Clarkson provides. “I was capable to just have free rein and enable the movie be what it required to be, as opposed to seeking to force it into anything else. That was a present, in a way, to be ready to just take a little something and convey a refreshing and I hope authentic choose to it.”

Even now, centering your story on a prophetic hero can make for a intricate shooting agenda. Clarkson explains that the crew would often have to shoot variations of the identical scene in excess of and in excess of once more, each and every with somewhat various outcomes based on Cassie’s visions. Johnson states she commonly dropped keep track of of which scenes have been actual and which ended up inside of Cassie’s head, and she’d often have to look at in with Clarkson for a refresher.

“I trusted her so a lot,” Johnson suggests. “I’ve never ever definitely performed a movie where by you are on a blue screen, and there is fake explosions heading off, and someone’s likely, ‘Explosion!’ and you act like there is an explosion. That to me was definitely psychotic. I was like, ‘I don’t know if this is heading to be good at all! I hope that I did an all right task!’ But I trusted her. She performs so tricky, and she has not taken her eyes off this film given that we started out.”

And, Johnson notes, she’s considering the fact that uncovered a newfound affinity for all those people explosions and car or truck crashes. One of her favored times on established was when the stunt workforce despatched a taxi careening into a diner. “I did not get to actually generate it into the diner, which is definitely a bummer,” she states unfortunately. “I truly preferred to, but I guess they don’t want to place their direct actor in precise threat, until you are Tom Cruise.”

“But I’m getting there!” she provides with a snicker. “I’m performing on it.”

Madame Net is in theaters Feb. 14.

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