In a recent interview on Dax Shepard’s podcast “Armchair Expert,” Scarlett Johansson opened up about her worry earlier in her career that she was being set up to exclusively play “hypersexualized” characters.
“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,” she said on the podcast (via Yahoo). “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.”
“Because 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 hypersexualized 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?”
Johnson, 37, got her start in acting as a child, starring in movies like “North” and “Home Alone 3.” By her late teens, she was landing roles in more mature movies, like “Ghost World” and the Coen Brothers’ “The Man Who Wasn’t There”.”
In her 20s, she was then playing roles where she was the object of affection: Woody Allen’s “Match Point” and noir “The Black Dahlia.” Johansson said that time in her career was “scary” because she thought she would never grow beyond those roles.
Playing Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe changed all that, turning her into one of the biggest box-office draws in Hollywood.
Johansson said on the podcast that she’s happy to see that the new crop of young stars coming up don’t have to go through what she did.
“I see younger actors that are in their 20s, it feels like they’re allowed to be all these different things,” she said. “It’s another time, too. We’re not even allowed to really pigeonhole other actors anymore, thankfully, right? People are much more dynamic.”