Dakota Johnson reached out to Maggie Gyllenhaal for The Lost Daughter role

red carpet image of Dakota Johnson
Dakota Johnson impressed the director of Netflix’s The Lost Daughter. Pic credit: ©

The Lost Daughter has taken Netflix viewers and critics by storm, garnering positive reviews across entertainment outlets and social media platforms. The movie signifies Maggie Gyllenhaal’s feature directorial debuts and stars The Crown’s Olivia Colman, Fifty Shades’ Dakota Johnson and Normal People’s Paul Mescal in crucial roles.

Based on a novel by Elena Ferrante, this psychological drama takes a deep dive into the quiet tribulations of womanhood and motherhood.

Speaking with PEOPLE Magazine, Gyllenhaal opened up about the creation of this movie — given that she wrote and directed the movie.

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Dakota Johnson reached out to Maggie Gyllenhaal

Gyllenhaal shared the story of how Dakota Johnson nabbed the role of Nina in The Lost Daughter. She told the entertainment outlet, “Dakota reached out to me first, and I was like, huh, that’s actually kind of the most brilliant idea. And I love her in the movie.”

Nina is a young mother who Colman’s Leda observes on a beach while on a Greek vacation. She is first introduced through a number of quick shots and inaudible actions until her three-year-old daughter goes missing and Leda steps in to help. Gyllenhaal expressed that Johnson took on the role effortlessly.

The director added, “I just have never seen her do anything like this, and I’m so glad that she found me.”

Johnson shares what drew her to the movie

The Nina actor had equally kind words to share about her director. In a December interview with Vogue, Johnson expressed that she was instantly drawn to the movie due to its “insanely beautiful script.”

“It was an insanely beautiful script to read and then Maggie and I had a meeting. It was really honest and soulful. We talked a couple more times, and then she gave me the part,” Johnson explained before continuing to gush about the director.”

“Maggie has such an incredible way of working with actors because she is one. She made us feel so safe. I felt like I could go to extremes in any direction and I’d be taken care of,” the 32-year-old actor continued.

The tenderness expressed between the cast and crew of the movie has resulted in amazing feats. In addition to critical acclaim, The Lost Daughter has found itself nominated for a variety of awards, including Best Director at the 2022 Golden Globes.

The Lost Daughter is currently streaming on Netflix.

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