Scralett Johansson’s Early Career: “A Bombshell Actor Image I Couldn’t Get out Of”

Scralett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson appeared on a recent episode of “Table for Two with Bruce Bozzi,” where she acknowledged how she felt ‘groomed’ towards becoming a “bombshell” performer during the earlier part of her acting career. As much as she wanted the focus to be her acting, while building a stepping stage for her acting career, she felt more and more like an source of pleasure for the audiences.

At the time, she was performing in films such as “Lost in Translation,” “Match Point,” and “Girl With the Pearl Earring.” The Oscar nominated actress played the object of male desire on multiple occasions. This occurred during a period of time when she was attempting to develop star power in the entertainment industry.

“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,” Johansson said, “I was kind of being groomed, in a way, to be this what you call a bombshell-type actor. I was playing the other woman and the object of desire and I suddenly found myself cornered in this place. I couldn’t get out of it.”

She continued, “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. It was an interesting, weird conundrum to be in but it really came back to working at it and trying to carve a place in different projects and work in great ensembles.”

Johansson also recalled that her part as Black Widow in “Iron Man 2” was first conceived by the audiences as “underdeveloped and over-sexualized.” The actor collaborated with director Jon Favreau and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige to reimagine the character as more progressive. Johansson said earlier this year that she thought her career was over due to her incessant “hyper-sexualization” in Hollywood.

“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,” Johansson said on the “Armchair Expert” podcast. “I remember thinking to myself, ‘I think people think I’m 40 years old.’ It somehow stopped being something that was desirable and something that I was fighting against.”

“I think everybody thought I was older and that I’d been [acting] for a long time, I got kind of pigeonholed into this weird hyper-sexualized thing,” she continued. “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?’”

Johansson’s next project will be her first Wes Anderson film, the star-studded “Asteroid City,” which will be released in June 2023, followed by Kristin Scott Thomas’ directorial debut “My Mother’s Wedding,” which will feature Sienna Miller and Emily Beecham.

With these projects being more thoughtful, the actress aims to bring her acting skills under the spotlight, rather than her physical attractiveness.

What are your thoughts on Scarlett Johansson’s experiences of being “hyper sexualized” in the Hollywood culture? Let us know in the comments section below!

Chris Mack

Chris Mack

Meet Chris Mack, your go-to expert for the best of BBC iPlayer with a twist—he's also a cybersecurity enthusiast. Whether you're into British entertainment classics or searching for hidden gems, Chris has you covered, always with an eye for secure streaming practices. Beyond the screen, Chris blends his love for reading and exploring the outdoors with a passion for staying ahead in the world of cybersecurity, ensuring a safe viewing experience. If you're looking for top British TV picks or tips on keeping your digital viewing secure, Chris is your guide. Dive into the drama of British TV with Chris!

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