Not everybody knows that Fifty Shades of Grey star Dakota Johnson is ex-stepdaughter of Antonio Banderas! We were even more surprised when we found out that they have had a strong friendship for over 2 decades, despite the fact that Antonio and Dakota’s mother Melanie Griffith are no longer together.
Here at Buzz Idea, we admire people who maintain warm relationships after their breakup, especially when children remain close friends with their step-parents.
1. Antonio considers Dakota his daughter.
Dakota was born into the family of actors Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson in 1989 — by the way, her parents started dating when Melanie was 14 and Don was 22. They married twice — in January 1976 (and divorced in July of that year) and in 1989, Dakota was born during this marriage. In 1996, when Dakota was 6 years old, they divorced. Same year, on the set of the movie Two Much, Melanie met Antonio Banderas, they got married and lived together until December 2015.
Antonio always speaks warmly about his love toward Dakota, calling her his daughter. Johnson also opened up, saying that Banderas is actually one of the most influential people in her life, that he brought a whole new world of creativity and culture into the family.
2. Now Dakota has a half-sister — Stella Banderas.
In 1996, Banderas and Griffith welcomed their daughter Stella del Carmen Banderas, who is 7 years younger than Dakota. Dakota also opened up that she`s grateful to her stepfather for her younger sister and called her “magical”.
3. Dakota’s first red carpets were in his company.
From a young age Dakota participated in social events and appeared on red carpets with her movie star parents, she even attended the Oscars with them when she was 10 years old! The photo above pictures them at the ceremony in 2000.
4. Antonio put Dakota in his first movie.
In 1999, at the age of 9, Johnson got her first role in the movie Crazy in Alabama, where she and her younger sister Stella played the daughters of the main character Lucille Vinson (played by Melanie Griffith). The film was directed by her then stepfather Antonio Banderas.
5. Banderas convinced her to graduate school before starting acting.
In 2016, Dakota Johnson gave an interview on Live! With Kelly and Michael and shared that, despite her early debut in the Banderas movie Crazy in Alabama, both Antonio and Melanie discouraged her from acting until she graduated from high school. Both Banderas and Griffith also first finished school. So Johnson didn’t begin auditioning in Los Angeles until after she graduated from high school.
6. Dakota now understands Spanish.
Dakota once admitted that with Antonio, Spain came to the family, along with incredible Spanish relatives, flamenco and, of course, Spanish. Johnson said in an interview that she perfectly understands the language, but does not speak it fluently, so when appearing on Spanish language television shows, she works with a translator.
7. Antonio shared that Dakota was one of the reasons his marriage was worth it.
Sometimes the divorce process is so complex that it can invalidate the marriage itself. But that has nothing to do with the Banderas-Griffith family — the actor recently admitted that Dakota still means a lot to him and that his marriage to Melanie Griffith was all worth it for many reasons, including Dakota.
8. Even after the divorce, the whole family maintains a warm and close relationship.
Maybe it’s because Antonio is Spaniard and they have different traditions about breakups in Spain, or maybe it’s that both actors had already been married before, but Melanie and Antonio, as well as their children, still maintain a very warm and friendly relationship. Antonio said that even though Melanie is not his wife anymore, he still considers her his best friend, and still his family.
9. They share a cool hobby — they all love skiing!
The whole family, including Antonio, Dakota, and Stella, have been seen many times over the years in Aspen, Colorado on ski vacations. Numerous paparazzi photos confirm this.
10. He was her stepdad for nearly 20 years.
Antonio married Dakota’s mother in 1996, when Dakota was 6 years old. He remained her stepfather for almost 20 years, and even after the divorce in 2015, Banderas still plays an important role in her life.
The famous actor opened up that he’s been with young Dakota on his shoulders, traveling all around the world. And Johnson, during her touching tribute speech, shared that Antonio loved the whole family so fiercely, so big and so loud, that it changed their lives forever.
Now we like Antonio Banderas even more! Do you know of any other cool celebrity dads we could add to the list? We’d be happy to hear from you in the comment section below!