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Scarlett Johansson Says Management 'Groomed' Her To Play Provocative Roles When She Was Young

Scarlett Johansson Says Management 'Groomed' Her To Play Provocative Roles When She Was Young

Scarlett Johansson is getting real about what fans don’t see behind the scenes of blockbuster films.

The 38-year-old actress sat down with Bruce Bozzi for his Table For Two podcast on Tuesday. In the iHeartRadio-produced chat, ScarJo gave a rare, deep look at her career. And she said something that is already turning a lot of attention her way!

Related: ScarJo Says Joaquin Phoenix Got Freaked Out By Her Fake Orgasm Sounds!

During the duo’s discussion, Johansson spoke about making her film debut as a 9-year-old. Then, through her childhood, she slowly worked her way through the industry. But things changed in 2003 when Lost In Translation sent her career into a trajectory towards superstardom.

She was still a teenager while filming that movie, though. So she recalled how bizarre the experience was to star alongside Bill Murray in a Sofia Coppola film at such young age. ScarJo admitted she “struggled” with that, and the relationship she had to develop on screen with Murray’s character:

“It sort of was my transition into my adult career. I had a really hard time doing Lost In Translation. I was 17, I was far away, I was working with Bill Murray who I was an enormous fan of and he obviously has a very big personality and he’s sort of a formidable character at times. Our characters have this kind of real love for one another, this profound relationship, and that was hard for me to — I struggled with that for different reasons.”

Weeks after she finished filming Lost In Translation, her world flipped on its head again.

ScarJo went off to film Girl With A Pearl Earring alongside Colin Firth. And again, she had to grow up very quickly. Recalling this period of her career as a “weird fever dream,” the actress lamented how she had been on the “path of ingénue.” But after working with Murray and Firth (again, as a freakin’ teenager!), that changed almost overnight.

And that brings us to the key quote. ScarJo reflected on the difficulty of figuring out her sexuality in such a public arena:

“Young girls like that are really objectified and that’s just a fact. I did Lost In Translation and Girl With The Pearl Earring and by that point, I was 18, 19, and I was coming into my own womanhood and learning my own desirability and sexuality. I think it was because of that trajectory I had been sort of launched towards, I really got stuck.”

Now years later, she came to realize how she was “groomed” into those types of sexual, public-facing roles without her even being aware of it at the time:

“I was kind of being groomed, in a way, to be this what you call a bombshell-type of actor. I was playing the other woman and the object of desire and I suddenly found myself cornered in this place like I couldn’t get out of it. Right around that time is when I met with Bryan.”


“Bryan,” by the way, is CAA partner and co-chair Bryan Lourd. The powerhouse agent — who is also podcast host Bozzi’s husband — played a big part in ScarJo’s career. She was quick to give him full credit for helping her through this tough transition period, too.

The Under The Skin actress reflected:

“It would be easy to sit across from someone in that situation and go, ‘this is working.’ But for that kind of bombshell, you know, that burns bright and quick and then it’s done and you don’t have opportunity beyond that. And I just felt, how is this burning out so quickly? It was an interesting, weird conundrum to be in but it really came back to doing work — to working at it and trying to carve a place in different projects and work in great ensembles.”

Interestingly, that career development towards ensemble work came in an unexpected place: a superhero series!

When ScarJo was cast in the second Iron Man film, she came to see it as an “incredible opportunity.” It wasn’t expected to be like that. But her world view coalesced well around the vision for the Marvel film, and it worked:

“That part at the time was very underdeveloped and oversexualized, but I wanted to form a relationship with Jon Favreau, who I worked with a couple of times after that, who’s an inspiration for me. And I also wanted to work with Kevin Feige, who’s the head of Marvel, who I knew had a vision for this big picture, which at the time people forget, that genre was not what it is now. The first Iron Man with Robert Downey was a sensation, it was unprecedented.”

Inspiration and success happen in the most unexpected places sometimes. As the A-lister grew into her career, she also settled into new opportunities like that which afforded her a different taste of contentment.

Related: ScarJo FINALLY Explains How She & Colin Jost Picked Their Son’s Name Cosmo!

Since then, ScarJo has become one of Hollywood’s highest-earning stars. She’s been nominated for Oscars and is known the world over. She recently starred in Black Widow, too — and, of course, got into a major legal battle with Disney over the release of that film. So it was surprising to hear her say on Bozzi’s new podcast that she actually wants to work as an exec for the media giant one day!!

ScarJo concluded:

“I really love producing and I love producing other people’s stuff. My ideal job is a corner office on the Disney lot.”

Wow. Definitely didn’t expect that to be the goal. But she’s got the staying power to do it!

What do U make of her interview, Perezcious readers? Share your take on everything down in the comments (below)…

[Image via WENN/Avalon]

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Dec 14, 2022 08:16am PDT