Dakota Johnson, Allure

Petra Collins for Allure

Dakota Johnson is used to baring it all onscreen, but that doesn't mean the actress is any less terrified. 

In Allure's "New Naked" issue, the Fifty Shades Freed star describes how the famous franchise helped shape her into the actress—and woman—she is today.

"Throughout this entire experience, I've learned that I can expose my heart and my emotions and I can still protect myself. I can still be vulnerable and strong. It's a constant ebb and flow and a battle and trying to figure out how to have those things coexist within me," she says. "That's what I'm grateful for."

Despite the confidence Johnson displays on screen, she tells Allure, "Fundamentally, I'm open and warm. At my core, I'm a bleeding heart. But when your life is exposed and when the movie that exposes your life is exposing your emotions and your body, it can be very scary."

The fears associated with roles such as Anastasia Steele never keep her from following through on a project.

"I don't know how to explain it in a way that doesn't sound hokey, but when I'm on a project, I'm on it for a certain reason, and I'm involved with the people for a reason." She continues, "It's always some sort of weird marriage to something that's happening in my life, or the character has some connection to something that's going on [in my life]." 

Johnson has always been interested in roles that allow her emotional freedom and exploration. Her time spent with director Luca Guadagnino on the film A Bigger Splash comes to mind. 

Asked about the way in which Guadagnino emotionally tests actors in his films, Johnson says, "It's terrifying. But it's cathartic. And that makes my heart beat."

Tested yet again, Johnson tries nine things she's never done before with Allure. In the video, she takes a selfie with her feet, tries mystery food, dons LED eyelashes, and even puts on snail mucus. 

The full story can be found in Allure's "New Naked" February 2018 issue, in which editor in chief Michelle Lee writes, "We are hereby taking nakedness back"  The magazine hits newsstands Jan. 23. 

And catch Fifty Shades Freed in theaters Feb. 9.

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