Dakota Johnson’s Tribute to Former Stepdad Antonio Banderas Will Leave You In Tears

Dakota Johnson gushed over former stepfather Antonio Banderas while presenting him with the Hollywood Actor Award on Sunday. Read her touching speech below.

By kelli boyle Nov 04, 2019 2:40 PMTags
Antonio Banderas, Dakota JohnsonRichard Shotwell/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Family ties run deep.

At the Hollywood Film Awards on Sunday, Antonio Banderas won the Hollywood Actor Award for his performance in Pain and Glory. And presenting him with the trophy was none other than his former stepdaughter Dakota Johnson. (Banderas was married to her mom, Melanie Griffith, for 20 years before the couple split in 2015.)

"There are infinite possibilities for how relationships and family dynamics play out when parents re-marry," she began her tribute. "Sometimes when your parents re-marry you might experience varying degrees of a living nightmare. You may spend your childhood and then some of your adult life, depending on how much therapy you've had, really railing against the cosmic joke that seems to be playing out in real time."

"I come from a family of many a marriage and I got very lucky," Johnson continued. "I got a bonus dad who I realized that, over time, is actually one of the most influential people in my whole life. When I was six years old, my mother married a man who brought an unbelievably bright light, a whole new world of creativity and culture and one remarkably magical little sister in to our family."

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As the 30-year-old actress continued her tribute, she couldn't help but get emotional, tearing up as she described Banderas and the impact he has had on her.

"My stepfather—f*#k! Antonio Banderas burst into our lives," she told the audience. "He was so vibrant and so fun and so funny and his English was abstract and we found it absolutely amazing. He loved my mother, and my siblings and I so big, and so fiercely and so loud, that it would change all of our lives together."

"Antonio taught me about true passion and discipline," Johnson raved, clad in a sparkling Saint Laurent jumpsuit. "He would spend hours, and days even, in his office trying to get to the nucleus of something he had become interested in, or a role he was preparing."

Watch: Antonio Banderas on Stepdaughter Dakota in "Fifty Shades"

She gushed over what it was like to like to watch and learn from the actor throughout her childhood—all that Shrek swag was an added bonus, as she joked.

"Now, as a grown woman working in the same industry, I understand that Antonio is one of our finest artists in film, stage and television, in multiple languages," Johnson admitted. "As an actor, director, writer, singer, his range is absolutely astounding. I can look back on his entire career, and time after time, his performances and endeavors as an artist have made an imprint."

And there is only room for more. "The greatest thing is that he just keeps getting better," she declared. "It is an honor to give you the Hollywood Film Award for Best Actor."

After accepting the award, Banderas thanked Johnson for continuing to see him as family, dedicating his award to her and her sister Stella Banderas, 23.

"I want to dedicate this to two people that I love, one is right here, Dakota, for something very simple, because you always call me papi, and still now you call me papi and I love that!" he raved. "You have no idea how much I love that!"

—Reporting by Spencer Lubitz