Marvel Cinematic Universe star Scarlett Johansson, known for her role as Black Widow throughout the blockbuster franchise, had some unfortunate things to say about Hollywood. In a recent interview, Scarlett Johansson explained that Hollywood constantly “hypersexualized” her due to her “older looks” as a teenager.
This was revealed while speaking on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast as noted via NY Post. She explained as much after Shepard complimented her warm personality. At this point, she found the opportunity to explain that the industry gave her the public persona that most associate with the actress.
Scarlett Johansson first explained that she “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.” Furthermore, she continued to explain her thoughts on the situation. She could “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.”
She speculates that this is because “everybody thought I was older and that I’d been [acting] for a long time.” As a result, Scarlett Johansson was “kind of pigeonholed into this weird hypersexualized thing.” It left such an impact that she “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?'” As one might imagine, it can be a scary place for your career to be in, and that’s exactly how Scarlett Johansson felt.
She continued, noting that “it was scary at that time. In a weird way, I was like, ‘Is this it?’ I attributed a lot of that to the fact that people thought I was much, much older than I was.” And, even more unfortunately, she noted this was a reason that she “definitely was in different situations that were not age appropriate.” Thankfully, however, her mother “was really good about protecting” her and kept these situations from escalating. On the bright side, she notes that times are much different now.
“Now, I see younger actors that are in their 20s,” she expressed. “It feels like they’re allowed to be all these different things. It’s another time, too. We’re not even allowed to really pigeonhole other actors anymore, thankfully, right? People are much more dynamic.” With that in mind, however, she does insist that we still “live in a patriarchy.” As a result, she feels “there’s a fundamental reality of the woman’s condition that will always — even if those 600 men are not actively aggressive necessarily as much as they would have been a minute ago — it’s still fundamentally there.”
As a result, Johansson continues, “It’s so baked into our culture and society.” And, furthermore, this makes it difficult for her “to imagine that ever being not an element.” Johansson then concludes with the following:
“We had our mothers who were like, ‘Use whatever you can to get the thing you need. Use your feminine wiles. Use your sexuality,’” detailed Johansson. “And then there’s our generation, I think that’s done that and also [said], ‘This doesn’t feel right, there’s gotta be some other way,’ and there’s the younger generation of women who are like 15 years younger than me,”‘You don’t have to take any of that crap. No pandering.’”
So, with that statement in mind, “There’s this system that’s completely rejected,” the MCU star added. “It’s an interesting place to be in the in between of.”