This essay is part of the Ultimate Texas Celebrity Bracket. Read them all—and cast your vote!—here.

When a new Dakota Johnson film comes out, her press appearances often overshadow the movie itself. Most of her interviews fall into two categories: either Johnson has generated online discourse for saying something chaotic but honest (e.g., that she can easily sleep for fourteen hours a night), or she’s setting her own record straight in another viral interview (“Why is sleep bad? Like, why? Leave me alone—I’m just asleep”). 

It’s hard not to love Johnson for her authenticity, especially because she isn’t afraid of criticizing her own projects. When her most recent film, Madame Web, was widely mocked online, Johnson seemed to laugh along with the audience. In her monologue on Saturday Night Live, she described the creation of Madame Web as “if AI generated your boyfriend’s favorite movie.” She’s publicly admitted she hasn’t seen the film and doesn’t know if she ever will. When asked about the poor critical response, Johnson told Bustle, “I can’t say that I don’t understand,” adding that she believes one “cannot make art based on numbers and algorithms”—but that hasn’t stopped fans from labeling the film a future cult classic. Sadly for them, Johnson may never make a movie like it again.

Born in Austin, Johnson belongs to a bona fide Hollywood lineage. Her parents are the actors Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, her grandmother is Tippi Hedren, and her former stepfather is Antonio Banderas—but you probably shouldn’t remind Johnson about the whole “nepo baby” thing; she finds the discourse “incredibly annoying and boring.” Johnson remained in Texas while her father finished filming The Hot Spot (1990), but her childhood was mostly spent on location for her parents’ films. It wasn’t until high school that Johnson settled in California for a few years before beginning her own acting career.

Though her projects haven’t all been commercial—or critical—successes, Johnson has received praise for her performances (yes, even Fifty Shades of Grey) from both fans and critics. Indie films such as The Peanut Butter Falcon, The Lost Daughter, and Suspiria underscore Johnson’s versatility as an actress. But whether it’s a Marvel-adjacent blockbuster or low-budget indie flick, Johnson is vocal that she prefers storytelling over genre. She’s passionate about filmmaking as an art form and laments prioritizing commercial appeal. It’s clear that Johnson’s dry humor doesn’t stem from apathy for her films or a performative desire to generate press. Her sincerity is genuine; her sass and wit have prevailed since day one. Perhaps Dakota Johnson isn’t as unpredictable or chaotic as she’s made out to be—she’s just a Texan woman.

She’s a comedic genius without even trying. She does what feels right to her and pays no mind to what others think about it. Johnson doesn’t shy away from challenging others, and she’s spoken about her fierce loyalty to her family, both blood and chosen. While Texas women cannot be singularly defined, it’s hard to deny the common qualities they possess. Like Beyoncé and Farah Fawcett, they are resilient and unique. Like Kacey Musgraves and Megan Thee Stallion, they charm their audiences while speaking their truth wholeheartedly. Though she’s briefly brought up Texan politics in the past—criticizing the stigma around gender identity— whether or not Johnson will claim her Texanness is up to her. But she certainly fits the bill.

The Madame Web press tour is only one of the many infamous moments when Johnson hasn’t held back. In an era of press junkets filled with forced excitement, curated anecdotes, and fake laughter at Jimmy Fallon’s jokes, Johnson’s authenticity makes her cool-girl persona even cooler. There’s that time we loved her for the way she loved limes, only to find out that she’s actually allergic to them (which made her only more iconic). Or when she admitted to getting drunk at parties, taking out her extensions, and shoving them into mens’ jacket pockets because “they’re so available.” And what real Dakota John-stan could forget when Johnson called out TV host Ellen DeGeneres for lying about not being invited to Johnson’s thirtieth birthday party? DeGeneres, who faced allegations of a toxic workplace environment and was known for teasing her guests at their expense, eventually ended the Ellen DeGeneres Show after nineteen seasons. But to fans, it was Dakota Johnson who brought an end to Ellen’s reign of terror. 

In truth, Johnson is probably wondering why anyone would bother arguing if she’s Texan. Or maybe she does, in which case we must let her speak! As the saying goes, don’t mess with Texas women.