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Following this year’s Met Gala, Dakota Johnson got a new and meaningful tattoo in a friend’s kitchen. The fresh ink is of a small scarab beetle on her ankle. It isn’t Johnson’s first tattoo, but when her The Lost Daughter co-star Olivia Colman found out, she was furious.

Dakota Johnson’s new tattoo ‘pissed off’ Olivia Colman

Dakota Johnson tattoo Olivia Colman The Lost Daughter
Jessie Buckley, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Olivia Colman, and Dakota Johnson | Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty Images

As co-stars in 2021’s The Lost Daughter, Dakota Johnson and Olivia Colman have often spoken of the bond they built while filming the intense emotional drama. In fact, all the women behind The Lost Daughter became close during production. That’s why when Johnson got her new tattoo alongside The Lost Daughter director Maggie Gyllenhaal and co-star Jessie Buckley, Colman was furious.

“I got a WhatsApp photo of them all getting the tattoo that we were all meant to be having together,” Colman told Vanity Fair by phone from England, where she was on location filming a Sam Mendes movie. “I was rageful. I was so jealous. Tell her if she doesn’t give me my tattoo, that’s the end of our friendship — and I was considering her a friend for life.” 

During her interview for the August issue of Vanity Fair, Johnson laughed. “She was pissed off,” the actor said of Colman. “She called and was like, ‘What the f***?’” 

What is ‘The Lost Daughter’ about?

In The Lost Daughter, Dakota Johnson plays Nina, a young woman struggling with her roles in life. Nina befriends Leda (Olivia Colman) while both are vacationing separately in Greece until she finds out a strange secret about Leda. Meanwhile, the story also follows Leda’s flashbacks to her earlier life when she, too, was a struggling young woman (young Leda is played by Jessie Buckley).

The film serves as an emotional and psychological study of society’s views on women. As such, each woman in the film offers an exploration into how conventions have pigeonholed women and dictated what womanhood and motherhood should look like. Considering that, it isn’t hard to see why Johnson, Gyllenhaal, Buckley, and Colman formed such an intense bond.

Dakota Johnson’s tattoos

As a symbol of rebirth, the scarab became an important concept for the women on the set of The Lost Daughter. Vanity Fair reveals that Gyllenhaal used the beetle as a “touchstone” while filming, and Johnson, who has been vocal about her depression, felt particularly drawn to it.

“Being alive is still such a mystery to me,” Johnson said. She added that her role as Nina helped fuel a rebirth in her own life by “letting go of how I allowed others to look at me.”

Johnson’s other tattoos include the Latin phrase “acta non verba” (“deeds, not words”) on the inside of her left arm and the Spanish word “amor” (“love”) on the nape of her neck.

In addition, three birds adorn Johnson’s right shoulder, and the phrase “look at the moon” covers her right foot.

The actor also has a small tattoo behind her right ear and on her right arm.

Furthermore, Johnson has “I love you” above her elbow and “tender” on her forearm alongside a wilting daisy.

On her left arm, she has a quote from Aldous Huxley’s novel, Island, that reads, “lightly, my darling,” along with an infinity symbol just below her elbow (which matches her beau Chris Martin’s tattoo). 


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Dakota Johnson also made headlines last year when she gave Olivia Colman her first tattoo using a stick-and-poke kit. However, neither Johnson nor Colman has revealed the design.