Dakota Johnson Says It Was ‘Absolutely Psychotic’ to Work with a Blue Screen for ‘Madame Web’

Dakota Johnson was skeptical about becoming a superhero, in part due to the “psychotic” element of acting against a blue screen for CGI effects.

Johnson leads Sony’s upcoming “Madame Web” as the title character AKA Cassandra Webb who starts getting visions of the future after a near-death experience. The trailer went viral, with Johnson recently telling Entertainment Weekly that the process of starring in the Sony (in association with Marvel) film based on the comic book series was a career first for her.

“I’ve never really done a movie where you are on a blue screen, and there’s fake explosions going off, and someone’s going, ‘Explosion!’ and you act like there’s an explosion,” Johnson said. “That to me was absolutely psychotic. I was like, ‘I don’t know if this is going to be good at all! I hope that I did an OK job!’”

She continued, “But I trusted [director SJ Clarkson]. She works so hard, and she has not taken her eyes off this movie since we started.”

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Director SJ Clarkson reached out to Johnson to lead the film shortly after the actress appeared in Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut “The Lost Daughter.” Johnson admitted that she was hesitant to sign on to play a superhero, but the relatability of character Cassandra grounded the role compared to other superhero movie characters.

“I got sent this script, and I was like, ‘I don’t know about me being a superhero,’” the “Fifty Shades of Grey” alum said, adding of her character, “I was sort of mystified by her powers. I felt like, ‘Oh, I really would love to see that superhero. I would love to see a young woman whose superpower is her mind.’”

Johnson continued, “It was really important to me that she’s really human and grounded in reality, and that her life feels like, ‘Oh, I can relate to that.’ Sometimes it’s hard to relate to someone shooting lasers out of their eyes.”

The actress added that the stunt work also opened up a new possible career path for her of action movies.

“I got to do a day of stunt driving work, and I’m really good at it, it seems!” Johnson said. “I mean, I can do some really wild things with a car. I drove an ambulance. I drove a taxicab. I drove everything in the movie — except for flying through the air and out of a building. But other than that, I’m like, ‘Watch out, Tom Cruise.’”

“Madame Web” premieres in theaters February 14.


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