The 27-year-old was reinstalled into the Scotland squad after nearly two years in the international wilderness following his tough time with former club Glasgow Warriors.
But Beattie was back in Johnson's squad for a three-day training camp before their RBS 6 Nations opener against England at Twickenham on February 2 after finding his form again in France with Montpellier.
And the 6ft 4inch forward, who was one of the standout performers in the 2010 tournament, paid tribute to his new boss at Scotland for recognising his outstanding form in France and in the Heineken Cup.
"He seems a really positive bloke who wants to get the best out of everyone here," Beattie told the Daily Record. "We are hoping the new management can change the structure of the way we play and give a few people a fright in the tournament.
"It's been great fun at Montpellier. I have loved the change of environment and culture and the change in rugby has been great for me.
"I'm really glad I made the move and also managed to keep in touch with the national set-up and be asked back.
"I haven't played as many games back-to-back for a long time. I had stayed at one club for eight years and needed a freshen-up.
"I have picked up a few things and it's great to play with different players and learn from new coaches."