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‘Suspiria’: How Dakota Johnson Transformed Into a World-Class Dancer

Horror fans looking to be shocked and thrilled, get that in full with ”Suspiria,” while being treated to a series of incredible transformations in the cast assembled by director Luca Guadagnino.

For Dakota Johnson, whose character Susie Bannion is sucked into a dance company run by a coven of witches, it was about becoming a world-class dancer.

“It started about two years before we starting filming, when Luca asked me if I would do the film with him,” Johnson told Variety on Wednesday at the film’s Los Angeles premiere. “Then a year before we started filming, I started training with different trainers and coaches to shape my body and teach my muscles how to move in the way of a dancer.”

In addition to Johnson’s transformation into a ballerina, Tilda Swinton plays two characters — a witch and an elderly man named Dr. Josef Klemperer.

“I was completely blown away by it,” said Mia Goth of the first time she saw Swinton in character as Klemperer. “You never really felt like you were working with Tilda. If Lutz was on set, that’s who was there. The way she talks, walks, she’s a chameleon.”

Guadagnino said he knew Swinton would deliver an unforgettable character.

“I think that with Tilda, it’s always about having fun and exploring things in a playful way,” the director said.

Dakota Johnson, Head of Amazon Studios Jennifer Salke, Tilda Swinton and Luca GuadagninoAmazon Studios 'Suspiria' Los Angeles premiere presented by Audi, After Party, Los Angeles, USA - 24 Oct 2018
CREDIT: Todd Williamson/January Images/REX/Shutterstock

Famed Italian horror director Dario Argento’s original “Suspiria” created a world of darkness in late 1970s Germany with wild images of gore and terror. Guadagnino’s version digs in deeper on the story, delivering a wickedly twisted sense of reality and an all-out assault on the senses.

“The original film, people remember the visual experience of it,” producer Bradley J. Fischer said. “Luca’s film, he opened up the period and it took on another layer and what these characters were going through.”

“I think when a horror film is a quality one and it’s impactful, it can stay with you for days,” Goth added.

Following the premiere, Swinton, Johnson (along with boyfriend Chris Martin), Guadagnino, Karen O, and the cast flocked to a party at the Chateau Marmont.

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