He carved out quite the successful Hollywood career for himself, but it wasn’t all good for Don Johnson, as he recently revealed that he had a very rough upbringing.
The 69-year-old sat-down with the Observer New Review and explained if he drew from his experience growing up for his latest role in Knives Out. “Hell no. I had a horrible childhood, horrible,” the actor recalled. “I had the quinella: abuse and parents who divorced when I was 12 years old and I was the oldest. I really was unhappy and I left home at 16. And when you leave home at 16 and you don’t have a plan and you have to fend for yourself and put yourself through high school … that builds a powerful character.”
While he may have had a tough childhood, the Miami Vice alum did all he can to make sure his kids had an easier route. Don has five kids of his own, including Dakota Johnson, who went down the acting route like her famous father and her mom, Melanie Griffith. Don recalled the time he learned his eldest daughter wanted to act.
“That’s a story in itself. I didn’t know that she wanted to do it. She hadn’t shared that with us,” the Django Unchained costar explained. “So she’s 18, I think, at the time and I’m going: ‘OK, I’ll just keep my eye on her and reach out and catch her.’ Ha ha, that’s the last I saw of Dakota. She has the goods. She’s a wonderful actress, and in some ways better than her mother and me.”
It also helps that Don has a good relationship with Dakota’s mom — and he’s had no problem praising her. “It’s pretty simple: when you love your children and want to share your life with them, it’s foolish to denigrate or have any animosity with their mother,” the Golden Globe winner told Stellar magazine in a past interview. “Children model you more than they listen to you.”
While it has been quite the up and down life for Don, it is quite clear that he is exactly where he wants to be today.