Dakota Johnson says her grandmother Tippi Hedren still keeps lions and tigers

Roisin O'Connor
American actress and animal activist Tippi Hedren, in a swimming pool, playfully spits water at her pet lion Neil, who sits on the pool's deck, Sherman Oaks, California, May 1971: Getty

Dakota Johnson has revealed that her grandmother, Tippi Hedren, still keeps a number of big cats.

The actor appeared in a virtual interview for The Graham Norton Show where she spoke about the release of her new film, The High Note, as well as her famous family.

Johnson’s parents are Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, while Hedren is her maternal grandmother.

One of Hedren’s most infamous projects is the 1981 feature film Roar, in which she starred with her daughter, husband Noel Marshall, and his own sons Jerry and John.

During the making of the film, which took 10 years, Hedren was thrown from an elephant and ended up in hospital with a fractured leg. She was also bitten in the neck by a lion and required stitches. and plastic surgery around her eye. In total, more than 70 members of cast and crew were injured.

During the interview, Johnson spoke about how the many big cats owned by her grandmother were moved into various compounds after she was born, rather than being allowed to roam around Hedren’s home.

Norton also showed a photo from Roar of a lion about to bite Johnson’s mother’s leg as she jumped into a swimming pool.

“She didn’t lose the leg,” Johnson joked.

She added: “By the time I was born [the cats] were all in huge compounds and it was a lot safer and wasn’t as... totally psycho as it was when they first started.”

Johnson said her grandmother still has around 14 lions and tigers, but previously kept as many as 60.

On the same show, Norton interviewed Katy Perry, Steve Carrell and Alan Carr.

Read more

What the cast of Lost think about the ending 10 years on

Netflix to automatically cancel ‘hundreds of thousands’ of accounts

BDSM romcom Secretary could teach Fifty Shades of Grey a few lessons