Scarlett Johnansson has claimed that her status as an ‘attractive leading lady’ of Hollywood was not the result of simple typecasting based on her looks, but rather the intended conclusion of her being “groomed to be a ‘bombshell’ type of actor”
The former Marvel Cinematic Universe star offered this reflection on her career during an appearance on the inaugural episode of former Palm Restaurant Group Executive VP Bruce Bozzi’s new celebrity one-on-one podcast, Table for Two. [Time stamp 09:00]
After asserting to the actress that he considered her to be a ‘bombshell’ type of actress, Bozzi asked how she was able to “put aside the bombshell-ness” for certain roles, to which she recalled that she only learned how to after years of being overtly sexualized.
“[At one point] I did a movie with the Coen brothers called The Man Who Wasn’t There, and around the same time I did Ghost World with Terry Zeigwof, and by then I had kind of become a sort of ‘ingénue’ sort of actor,” explained Johnansson, referring to the French blanket term for young and typically innocent female characters.
“Young girls like that are really objectified, and that’s just a fact,” she asserted. “I think whatever box they’re put into it sort of sets you on this trajectory for how your life will go now obviously women are really able more now to choose their own paths, but for me, i started down this path of ingénue.”
“And then 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 with my own desirability and sexuality,” the Black Widow actress continued, “and I think it was because of that trajectory I had been sort of launched towards I really got stuck – and because of my management, my agency, and all that stuff – I was kind of being groomed in a way to be this what you call this ‘bombshell type of actor'”
“I was playing the other woman and objects of desire,” Johansson explained, “and I suddenly found myself cornered in this place and I couldn’t get out of it.”
However, the actress noted that she was able to get out of it thanks to her agent (and Bozzi’s husband) Bryan Lourd, who met her requests to branch out into different roles with open arms.
“It would be easy probably to sit across from someone in that situation and go, ‘This is working, why change it?’,” said the actress. “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 felt like I was just burning out so quickly.”
“It just was an interesting, weird conundrum to be in,” she concluded, “but it really came back to working at it and trying to carve a place in different projects and work in great ensembles.”
This is not the first time Johansson claimed to have been mistreated by Hollywood due to her looks.
During an October appearance on Dax Sherpard’s Armchair Expert podcast, Johansson admitted that much of her public persona was the result of misrepresentation by the industry, expounding, “I kind of became objectified and pigeonholed in this way where I felt like I wasn’t getting offers for work for things that I wanted to do.”
“I remember thinking to myself, ‘I think people think I’m 40 years old,’” she added. “It somehow stopped being something that was desirable and something that I was fighting against.”
The reason for this treatment, speculated Johansson, was that “everybody thought I was older and that I’d been [acting] for a long time.”
“I got kind of pigeonholed into this weird hypersexualized thing,” she told Shepard. “I felt like [my career] was over. It was like, ‘That’s the kind of career you have, these are the roles you’ve played.’ And I was like, ‘This is it?’”