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Dakota Johnson and Cooper Raiff on Their ‘Electric Chemistry’ in ‘Cha Cha Real Smooth’ (Video)

Sundance 2022: ”I just found him to be supremely intelligent, but soulful and sweet and complicated,“ Johnson says about her co-star and director.

Dakota Johnson, star and producer of “Cha Cha Real Smooth,” said she first got to know director-writer-actor Cooper Raiff by seeing his debut feature film “Sh-House,” a SXSW winner about a tender college romance. Raiff wrote, directed and starred in that film as well.

“I just found him to be supremely intelligent, but soulful and sweet and complicated and accessible,” Johnson said at TheWrap’s virtual Sundance studio. She was joined by Raiff and “Cha Cha” cast members Leslie Mann, Evan Assante, Vanessa Burghardt, Raúl Castillo, Brad Garrett and Odeya Rush.

Raiff added, “When we first met, it was electric chemistry.”

Johnson said she loved the movie’s title. In the film, a 22-year-old college grad (Raiff), who is working as a bar mitzvah party starter, begins a friendship with a young mother (Johnson) and an autistic girl (Burghardt). The “Cha Cha Slide” song and dance are highly popular on the bar mitzvah circuit.

“Cha Cha” took the Sundance Film Festival Audience Award for U.S. Dramatic film at this year’s fest.

Of the character of Andrew, Raiff said: “I wouldn’t tell anyone to aspire to be Andrew for sure. But, I wanted to make a movie about someone who, who really likes to take care of other people and I wanted to get at why and how that’s not necessarily the best thing.

Raiff noted that Andrew is very good at starting other people’s parties, but “there’s got to be more to life than throwing yourself into other people. Your 20s are a time when you really have to start your own party.”

To view the complete panel video, click here.

TheWrap’s Sundance Studio is presented by NFP and National Geographic Documentary Films.

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