Scarlett Johansson said in a recent interview that the reason she played so many “provocative” roles when she was young is because she was “groomed” to do so.
“I kind of became, like, an ingénue,” Johansson told iHeartradio’s Table for Two podcast host Bruce Bozzi in an episode released on Tuesday, December 13. “Young girls like that are really objectified and that’s just a fact, so 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 really are able to choose their own path,” she said.
The Oscar nominee said that as she got older, she realized she was being typecast, but there wasn’t much she felt she could do. “I think because of that trajectory that I had been sort of launched towards, I really got stuck in this,” she said. “I was kind of being groomed in a way to be what you call this bombshell type of actor. I was playing the other woman and this object of desire and, you know, I suddenly found myself cornered in this place. I couldn’t get out of it.”
Johansson appeared in her first film in 1994, when she was she was nine, as John Ritter’s daughter in North. In her first leading role, she played a pregnant teenager who runs away from home in 1996’s Manny & Lo. In the early 2000s, she worked on several films with Woody Allen, including Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Match Point.
When Johansson was 17, she starred alongside Bill Murray in Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation. Scarlett Johansson said on Table for Two that she had a “really hard time” filming it but did not go into specifics. “Our characters have this profound relationship and that was hard for me to…I struggled with that for different reasons. When I came out of it, it was like this weird fever dream,” she said.