×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘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.

More Film

  • Audrey Wells

    Film News Roundup: Audrey Wells Scholarships Launched by UCLA, China's Pearl Studio

    In today’s film news roundup, Pearl Studio and UCLA start a “Say Yes!” scholarship in memory of Audrey Well; Gina Lollobrigida and Claudia Cardinale are honored; and the “General Magic” documentary gets bought. SCHOLARSHIPS UNVEILED China’s Pearl Studio has made a gift of $100,000 for endowed scholarships to the UCLA School of Theater, Film and [...]

  • Honey Boy Knock Down the House

    Sundance Hot Titles List: 13 Buzzy Films That Have Buyers Talking

    There’s a good reason that much of Hollywood braves the thin mountain air each year to make the trek to the Sundance Film Festival, and it’s not to check out the nearby ski slopes. The annual launch of the indie film gathering brings with it the possibility of discovering the next big thing in moviemaking. [...]

  • (L to R) VIGGO MORTENSEN and

    Will Oscar Nominations Give This Year's Contenders a Box Office Boost?

    With nominees like “Black Panther,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “A Star Is Born,” the 2018 class of movies proved the Oscars don’t need a popular films category to recognize movies that also made bank in theaters. But now that the academy has selected this year’s crop of awards hopefuls, is there any green left to squeeze [...]

  • A24 Buys Sequel to Tilda Swinton's

    Sundance: A24 Buys Sequel to Tilda Swinton's Romance-Drama 'The Souvenir'

    A24 has bought the North American rights to Tilda Swinton’s romance-drama “The Souvenir – Part 2,” closing the deal on the eve of the Sundance Film Festival. “The Souvenir” is set to make its world premiere at Sundance on Jan. 27, followed by playing in the Panorama section of the Berlin Film Festival in February. [...]

  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

    Chiwetel Ejiofor Adds Authenticity to Directorial Debut by Shooting in Malawi

    When actor Chiwetel Ejiofor optioned the rights for the 2009 best-seller “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” penning the screenplay for a feature directorial debut that world-premieres in Sundance and then appears in the Berlin Film Festival before being released globally by Netflix this spring, colleagues floated the idea of shooting the Malawi-set film in tried-and-tested [...]

  • ally billboard a star is born

    Oscar Campaign Spending Reaches New Heights in Competitive Season

    The escalating cost of awards campaigning may reach an all-time high this season as heavyweights such as “Roma” and “A Star Is Born” battle for Oscar gold. The quest for an Academy Award has always been expensive, but Netflix’s hunger to nab its first best picture win, coupled with the presence of legitimate studio contenders [...]

  • The Wizard of Oz

    'The Wizard of Oz' to Return to Theaters for 80th Anniversary

    “The Wizard of Oz” is returning to theaters this weekend for a special limited engagement marking the 80th anniversary of the film’s Hollywood premiere. Fathom Events, TCM, and Warner Bros. are re-releasing the beloved family film in select theaters across the country beginning on Sunday, Jan. 27, with additional dates on Tuesday, Jan. 29, and Wednesday [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content