Dakota Johnson and Sean Penn in 'Daddio'
Dakota Johnson and Sean Penn in 'Daddio' Image Credit: Instagram/Daddio

Dakota Johnson knew two-time Academy Winner Sean Penn was exactly who she wanted to star in the film Daddio as the male lead, but at first, she was not sure how to make it happen.

"The first and only person that I was like, 'Oh he'd be really perfect', was Sean and we kind of thought he would never do it because it's such a small movie with a first-time filmmaker and newer producers" she said.

However, living close to Penn and occasionally hanging out gave her the chance to ask him if he would read the script for Daddio." He did it quite quickly, and that was surprising, and then we went for a walk, and he loved it (the script)" Johnson added.

Johnson acquired the "Daddio" screenplay from writer and director Christy Hall. In the film, she plays a young woman who takes a cab driven by a man named Clark, played by Penn, who calls her "Girlie." The character's real name is never stated in the film.

"Girlie" takes the yellow cab back to her apartment in Manhattan after landing at John F. Kennedy Airport. She and Clark, the cab driver, have a shockingly earnest conversation about a range of topics, including relationships, loss and vulnerability.

The majority of the film involves Clark and 'Girlie' talking about their lives and experiences while in the cab.

Penn believes the film defies the "razzle dazzle" that people are often told they must look for in a film.

For him, a glitzy film is not necessarily the key to crafting impressive cinema.

Instead, what struck him about "Daddio" was the quality of the script and the rawness of Johnson's performance as "Girlie." She has such a beautiful vulnerability ... that never gets in the way of strength" he said.

It's vulnerability in the most relevant ways" he added.