Dakota attended the Aspen Community School, in Aspen, Colorado.
Her first photoshot was for children of celebrities, when she was 12, for Teen Vogue. She became interested in modeling with this work.
In 2006, Dakota began professional modeling signing with the agency IMG Models.
In 2009, Dakota did a modeling job to promote a Jeans line for Mango.
Dakota only started her acting career after finishing high-school, signing with the William Morris Agency for her representation.
Her first work after, after high-school, was in the movie of Social Network, where Dakota had a small part with Justin Timberlake.
In 2010, in Hollywood Film Festival, the cast of the movie The Social Network, where Dakota played a small part, were nominated for Hollywood Film Award in the category Ensemble of the Year.
In 2011, the cast of the movie The Social Network, where Dakota played a small part, were nominated for Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award in the category Best Ensemble.
In 2006, Dakota won a Golden Globe Award for the category Miss Golden Globe.
As a child, Dakota had a part in the 1999 movie Crazy in Alabama, with her mother her mother Melanie Griffith and her half-sister Stella Banderasin. However, her parents decided not to let her act professionally again until she finished high-school.
To get her role in the upcoming movie Fifty Shades of Grey, Dakota auditioned using a Ingmar Bergman's monologue from the 1966 movie Persona, that was both long and sexually explicit. She believe that this was what the role of the leading lady of the movie based on the famous book Fifty Shades of Grey would require.
In 2010, Dakota was identified by Nylon Magazine's Young Hollywood Issue as one of the 55 faces of the future.
Although she acted in the 2010 movie The Social Network about Facebook's beginnings, she closed down her Facebook account because she didn't like it.
Her grandfather was the child stage actor and advertising executive Peter Griffith.
Dakota had problems with addition on drugs and alcohol. In 2007, she did a 30 day rehab program at the Visions Teen Treatment Center in Malibu.
Dakota is the third generation to win a Golden Globe. Both her parents, Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, and her grandmother Tippi Hedren previously had won a Golden Globe.
Dakota is an onlys child and has six half-siblings. Two on her mother side, Stella Banderas and Alexander Baue, and four on her father side Jesse Johnson, Grace Johnson, Jasper Johnson, and Deacon Johnson.
Dakota is the step-daughter of Antonio Banderas.
Dakota is 5' 7½" (1.71 m) tall.
Dakota is the daughter of actors Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson.
Dakota: (on the upcoming movie Fifty Shades of Grey) Everything is a little bit secret but I can tell you that I think people will be pleased with the movie, hopefully! I'm doing this movie because I love it and I believe in the story and I believe in the books and I hope that I will do them justice.
Dakota: (on being an actress) I'd watch my parents work and think, 'Yeah, I'm going to do that.' It wasn't even a thing. It's the only thing I know how to do.
Dakota: I'm so happy when I'm working.
Dakota: I've only been in long-term relationships. I've never really dated myself.
Dakota: (on her role of Facebook, where she had a very small role) When I did 'The Social Network', David Fincher told me that I managed to make a thankless character pretty awesome. I thought that was really cool because I think he's really cool.
Dakota: (on why she chose to be an actress) I felt so much when I was fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, I felt everything. I didn't understand [myself], I was so happy yet so angry and sad. That was the point when I realized that I needed to tell stories and make characters come alive and I needed to make people cry, and make people angry, and make people happy, and make them laugh.