Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson joined fellow actresses Awkwafina, Lupita Nyong’o, Laura Dern, Jennifer Lopez, and Renée Zellweger at The Hollywood Reporter’s Oscar Actress Roundtable, where she expressed regret of becoming typecast as “hypersexualized.”
Johansson answered a question from The Hollywood Reporter’s Rebecca Ford. Ford asked, “I’m curious how important for all of you to shift what people expect of you based on your choices.”
“It’s so different now. The climate is so different now. There are so many wonderful opportunities for women of every age to play all different types of people.”
She then recounts how she felt she got typecast when she was in her early 20s.
“I feel when I was working in my early 20s and even in my late teens and early 20s, I felt that I got somehow typecast. I was very hyper-sexualized.”
The Oscar winner would go on to say that at the time, it seemed ok, but it wasn’t who she was. Instead, she felt it was a narrative created for her by some men:
“I guess at the time seemed okay to everyone. It was another time. Even though it wasn’t part of my own narrative. It was kind of crafted for me by probably a bunch of dudes in the industry. And I guess that worked then. It was really difficult for me to try to figure out how to get out of being an ingénue or the other woman, because it was never anything that I had intended.”
Johansson even detailed she thought of looking for a different job in the film industry.
“I remember thinking at the time, maybe I need a different job in this industry that sort of be more fulfilling because there seemed nowhere to go.”
This all changed as the star got the opportunity to star in the Broadway production of Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge back in 2009.
The experience not only garnered her a Tony Award for her performance, but it would be the catalyst she needed to change how she thought of her career:
“It totally reset my whole way of thinking about how I could work and the different kind of opportunities that could be available to me. It’s amazing how theater is limitless. Even though it was terrifying, it felt, it was liberating because I actually felt like every night I had the opportunity to change the narrative.”
You can catch Scarlett Johansson in Black Widow, which will be released on May 1st, 2020. Johansson also appears in Taika Waititi’s JoJo Rabbit and Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story.
What do you make of Johansson’s comments?