Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Jimmy Kimmel interviews neighbor Dakota Johnson about growing up next to Hunter S. Thompson

Jimmy Kimmel, Dakota Johnson
Jimmy Kimmel, Dakota Johnson
Screenshot: Jimmy Kimmel Live

Just when you thought you couldn’t take one more grainy video chat substituting for an actual late-night interview as emblematic of how nothing in this world will ever feel normal or safe again, real-life next-door neighbors Jimmy Kimmel and Dakota Johnson shot the shit over their shared fence on Thursday. Honestly, there were three cameras, editing—everything. Plus, Johnson—whose latest movie, The High Note, was robbed of the traditional, everyone-breathing-the-same-oxygen fancy premiere by this pernicious health catastrophe—went all out for the occasion, kitting herself out in a capacious, puffy-sleeved, hot pink ensemble for her backyard bull session. (She admitted the thing, which she, indeed, had in her closet for some reason, smelled inexplicably “like feet,” but the effort was still appreciated.)

With Kimmel assuring viewers that he and Los Angeles neighbor Johnson were mask-less only because they were responsibly over 12 feet apart for the event, the two happily praised each other as ideal neighbors, while grousing about those “assholes” (Johnson’s word) on the other side. (They apparently had Johnson’s pickup truck—a legacy from her grandfather, no less—towed, so you’re officially and publicly on blast, neighborhood busybodies.) With Kimmel addressing his dolled-up fence buddy, Romeo And Juliet-style, the pair gossiped like all good neighbors do, with Johnson watering her plants while Kimmel joked about those cameras he always has trained on Johnson’s house finally coming in handy. (Johnson assured Kimmel she’s all good on toilet paper, so no worries there.)

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Still, a little light stalking between block mates is nothing compared to Johnson’s stories about the experience of growing up next to famed author and infamous firearms enthusiast Hunter S. Thompson. Reminding Kimmel that her dad Don was a lifelong pal of the iconic Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas writer, Johnson said that Thompson’s regular and unusual gifts of bird calls, goggles, and other outdoor gear were more welcome to the young Johnson than, say, how he would announce his readiness to come over and chat each night—with a few rounds fired off in the driveway of her Woody Creek, Colorado childhood home. Effortlessly mining her eventful life for even more tales of formative Hollywood childhood dangers, Johnson also noted that, no, grandmother and longtime wild animal rescuer Tippi Hedren doesn’t approve of the pistol-packing antics of currently incarcerated, irresponsible self-proclaimed Tiger King, Joe Exotic. (Also self-proclaimed.) In the life of Dakota Johnson, putting up a fence to keep her dog out of Jimmy Kimmel’s yard just doesn’t rate as an anecdote.

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.

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