Dakota Johnson grew up surrounded by love. In addition to her mother and her father, who managed to maintain a warm relationship after the breakup, another “parent” came into her life: her stepfather Antonio Banderas.
It was he who, in her day, paved the way for her to the world of cinema and taught her what it meant to live with an authentic Spanish passion. After achieving success in her profession, Dakota always thanks her “second” dad for his support. This loving relationship between stepfather and stepdaughter is endearing, even to the most hardened of cynics.
“I come from a family of many marriages and I was very lucky. I received an ‘extra’ father that I realized that, over time, he is actually one of the most influential people in my entire life,” Dakota Johnson once said about Antonio Banderas. The Spanish actor met his mother, Melanie Griffith, during the filming of the film Two Much. Their decision to be together was instantaneous. At the time, Griffith had two children from previous relationships.
Banderas managed to become a true member of this family. According to the actress, the children saw his adoring attitude toward his mother and over time they began to see him as a second father, sweetly calling him “Paponio,” a mix of the words “Papi” and “Antonio.” Her stepfather brought a bit of Spanish madness to their stable lives, Johnson said. And most importantly, he taught the children discipline.
In 1996, the family celebrated the arrival of another daughter, Stella. Banderas, who until then had not had children, became the father of three at the same time. Furthermore, he soon faced the complexities of adolescence. Like all teenagers, Alexander and Dakota demanded freedom, but their stepfather was unwavering. At that moment, the actor realized that his job was not to be his friend, but rather a person who “kept them safe.”
The popularity of Antonio and Melanie was another difficulty to overcome. His son and youngest daughter couldn’t stand the public attention. Dakota, on the other hand, was different; She quickly accepted his position of always being in the limelight. Antonio admired the wisdom of his stepdaughter.
Banderas was the first to discover young Dakota’s acting talent. He invited her in 1999 to appear in the film Crazy in Alabama, which he directed. In the script, the girl only had a few lines, but she took her work so seriously that she demanded a private acting teacher.
Johnson recalled that working on the same set with her mother and stepfather was incredibly fun. The only thing that bothered the young actress was that she had to take care of Stella, who was very little at the time.
Is her talent inherited? It is unlikely, although the individual components of it could well be. Dakota said she inherited strength and dignity from her grandmother, and humor from her mother. She learned respect from her biological father, but everything vibrant and bright about her seems to come from her stepfather. Thanks to him she learned to understand Spanish and to love flamenco and ham.
Additionally, Johnson considers her stepfather one of the best actors of our time. She only realized this when she became an adult and immersed herself in the profession. The important thing about Banderas, according to Dakota, is that she never tires of trying to improve herself.
But the most significant thing is that she revealed to him the magic of the world of cinema. Antonio once said of his stepdaughter: “She is my daughter, I love her. I have carried her on my shoulders, traveling around the world.” Yes, he insists on calling her her daughter, and he is as proud of her success as if it were his own. When the actress rose to fame, she shared her professional opinion about her talent. Banderas stated that she was a multifaceted artist and that she just needed an opportunity to prove it.
After almost two decades of marriage, Griffith and Banderas announced their divorce in 2014. The couple managed to separate lovingly and amicably. Similar phrases are often used by celebrities after the breakup of their relationship. But for this couple, they weren’t just empty words. They really were still together as a family and continued to meet only to chat or for some celebration.
Antonio said that seeing his children he realized that it was not in vain that he and his ex-wife lived together for so many years. It was definitely worth it. During an event on the red carpet, Banderas was asked how she feels about her ex-wife now. The actor responded without hesitation: “I will love that woman until the day she dies on me.”
The divorce did not affect Banderas’ relationship with her children. They often see each other on a daily basis, go out together, and accompany each other on the red carpet. Emotional speeches are also dedicated to receiving film awards.