Scarlett Johansson Urges “Step Back” From “Sexist” HFPA

DEADLINE – Scarlett Johansson has joined the outcry against the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, adding her voice to fellow Avenger Mark Ruffalo, who spoke out on Friday. They unite with numerous publicists, studios, and media organizations in condemning the HFPA’s lackluster diversity and inclusion initiatives.

“As an actor promoting a film, one is expected to participate in awards season by attending press conferences as well as awards shows,” Johansson said in her statement. “In the past, this has often meant facing sexist questions and remarks by certain HFPA members that bordered on sexual harassment. It is the exact reason why I, for many years, refused to participate in their conferences.

“The HFPA is an organization that was legitimized by the likes of Harvey Weinstein to amass momentum for Academy recognition, and the industry followed suit. Unless there is necessary fundamental reform within the organization, I believe it is time that we take a step back from the HFPA and focus on the importance and strength of unity within our unions and the industry as a whole.”

Johansson’s statement continues the dam breaking against HFPA, a movement that began at mid-week when Netflix’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos spoke out and said the studio would not participate in HFPA events until it revamped its organizational goals. Amazon Studios, GLAAD, The Black Journalists Assn., Time’s Up and many Hollywood publicists also have decried the HFPA’s actions.

Still silent is Disney, whose Black Widow starring Johansson is coming in July to theaters and Disney+ Premier Access.

Scarlett Johansson is Learning “When It’s Not Your Turn to Speak”

W MAGAZINE – Scarlett Johansson’s 30-year career is a testament to the fact that she has the range. But recent years have brought plenty of criticism that the 36-year-old can go too far—though, as Johansson again made clear in a new interview with the Gentlewoman, she has no regrets. It all started with Ghost in the Shell, a 2017 manga series that arguably should have starred a Japanese actor. (Johansson defended her decision, asserting she “would never want to feel like [she] was playing a character that was offensive.”) The outcry over Johansson’s next role, as a transgender massage parlor owner, was even more extreme, to the point that Johansson eventually stepped away from the film—but not before defending herself first.

“You know, as an actor I should be allowed to play any person, or any tree, or any animal because that is my job and the requirements of my job,” she infamously told the magazine As If. And, unlike stars such as Timothée Chalamet and Kate Winslet, she’s staunchly stood by Woody Allen. “I love Woody. I believe him, and I would work with him anytime,” she told the Hollywood Reporter in 2019, referring to the well-documented allegations of his sexual misconduct. “It’s hard because it’s a time where people are very fired up, and understandably.”

At this point, one has to wonder if Johansson is actually drawn to controversy. And according to her interview with the Gentlewoman, the answer is yes. “Yeah, I’ve made a career out of it,” she said. “I’m going to have opinions about things, because that’s just who I am.” At the same time, she continued, “I mean, everyone has a hard time admitting when they’re wrong about stuff, and for all of that to come out publicly, it can be embarrassing. To have the experience of, Wow, I was really off mark there, or I wasn’t looking at the big picture, or I was inconsiderate. I’m also a person.”

“I can be reactive,” Johansson continued. “I can be impatient. That doesn’t mix that great with self-awareness.” Hence why she’s been trying to learn how to recognize “when it’s not your turn to speak.”

Still, Johansson doesn’t really sweat it. “I don’t think actors have obligations to have a public role in society,” she said. “Some people want to, but the idea that you’re obligated to because you’re in the public eye is unfair. You didn’t choose to be a politician, you’re an actor. Your job is to reflect our experience to ourselves; your job is to be a mirror for an audience, to be able to have an empathetic experience through art.” Her goal is for the audience to “see pieces of themselves, or are able to connect with themselves through this experience of watching this performance or story or interaction between actors or whatever it is.” And “that,” she asserted, is her job. “The other stuff is not.”

Scarlett Johansson Summons Her Superpowers

Scarlett will grace the Spring/Summer 2021 Issue of The Gentlewoman Magazine, available on March 25th. Click here to pre-order a copy!

Back in the leather catsuit for the eighth time in May, Black Widow, Scarlett Johansson’s sassy Marvel character, has her own film at last. Over 30 years in show business, the 36-year-old actor has soared steadily from indie darling to box office draw, and she now has the powers to cast a woman in the director’s chair. It’s Scarlett’s fanatical commitment to outlandish parts that keeps fans coming back for more. And with her own production company, she’s free to make work as rich and as challenging as she is herself.

Hanging behind Scarlett Johansson, who’s at home in New York, is a painting by the artist Lois Dodd, once described as the most famous painter of windows in America. It’s a huge canvas, dominated by a deep purple dusk and a large clapboard house, one celebrated window lit up yellow, looming above Scarlett’s head like an idea. “I was thinking maybe I could frame it so it looks like I’m in the painting,” she says. It’s one of those mid-Zoom thoughts you have as you see yourself, yet again, pinned in the corner of a screen.

Over the past year and its many Zooms, with the surplus of events on one hand and the lack of happening on the other, Scarlett has learned a few things about herself. “Well, I’ve never spent this much time off. Ever. In my entire life.” She widens her eyes behind thick black-framed glasses. “I’ve been working for almost 30 years!”

She’s 36.
“It’s crazy,” she says. “It’s insane. I have a really long white beard that I shaved off just before this.”
You could retire, I suggest.
“It’s not even early retirement,” she says, a little rueful.

From child acting – off-Broadway as a kid, Manny & Lo at 12, The Horse Whisperer at 14 – her career has grown exponentially and irrepressibly, indie to Marvel. She’s not the kind of actor who, having hit the superhero jackpot, slides lazily into a plateau, making one film a year playing an approximation of herself. Instead, she’s somehow retained the status of a character actor with blockbuster effect. Or, as Sofia Coppola, who directed her in Lost in Translation, the film that catapulted her career into the big leagues back in 2003, put it over email, “She’s proven that she can be a bombshell and also a respected actress with depth and strength.”

Over her years enmeshed in the Marvel universe, Scarlett has revealed a mastery of hand-to-hand stunt combat, but she’s also given her character, Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow, mystery and humour. “What’s really great about her as an actor is she can’t do fake,” says Cate Shortland, the director of Black Widow, Scarlett’s first stand-alone Marvel film, due to be released in May. “There’s no BS; she has to believe it.” Rachel Weisz, her co-star, agrees. “She is extremely talented and hard-working and passionate about her role. She’s a straight shooter, very focused and clear about the story she is telling.”

Read the full article at The Gentlewoman website.

Parade: Scarlett Johansson Talks Mom Life, Dating SNL’s Colin Jost and All the Parts She Didn’t Get

I’ve updated the gallery with Scarlett’s newly released cover shoot for Parade, which was shot back in March. The interview, although pretty short, is a great read and I’ve included the article below for those who haven’t had a chance to read it yet.

PARADE – Not far from her home in New York City, on a sunny day in early March, Scarlett Johansson pops in for her Parade photo shoot after dropping off her 5-year-old daughter, Rose, at school. (This interview and photo shoot occurred before the coronavirus quarantine.) A little later, she’ll pick up Rose and return to the uptown apartment she also shares with her fiancé, Saturday Night Live co-head writer and “Weekend Update” co-anchor Colin Jost.

Oh, it’s pretty much just a typical weekday (when such days were possible just six weeks or so ago), though “typical” is a relative term when you’re an acclaimed, world-renowned actress, and your new movie, Black Widow, is shaping up to be a fall smash.

Indeed, with all due respect to one of her baseball heroes—Hall of Fame-bound superstar Derek Jeter of her beloved New York Yankees—Johansson is the one delivering big hits these days. At 35, the former child star is the top female box-office draw in the world, having brought in more than $14 billion in global ticket sales. She’s proven herself a master at comedy (Sing), action (Lucy) and awards-bait drama (her impressive Oscar-nominated 2019 twofer of Marriage Story and Jojo Rabbit). And she’s done it while winning legions of fans as the Russian-KGB-assassin-turned-crime-fighting-Avenger Black Widow in seven Marvel movies. With Black Widow, she finally gets to star in her own.

Continue reading  »

USA Today: Scarlett Johansson opens up on ‘Jojo Rabbit’ and the ‘loneliness’ of single parenthood

USA TODAY – One of the most famous, highest-paid movie stars in the world gets lonely sometimes, too.

It’s an unmooring Scarlett Johansson explores in two films this fall that bookend a century: First, in WWII satire “Jojo Rabbit” (in theaters Friday in Los Angeles and New York, expanding through October and November), she plays Rosie, a German mother worrying about her 10-year-old zealot whose imaginary friend is, yes, Hitler (Taika Waititi of “Thor: Ragnarok,” who also directs). Then Johansson debuts Netflix’s “Marriage Story” (in theaters Nov. 6 in New York and Los Angeles, streaming Dec. 6) in which she plays Nicole, a once-famous actress rediscovering herself as she divorces her husband (Adam Driver), a decorated New York theater director.

As Johansson, 34, approached the dual roles, limbo became new, too: She was mid-divorce with her second husband, French journalist Romain Dauriac, with whom she shares a 5-year-old daughter, Rose.

“I’ve felt in the past – there’s such a loneliness to being a single parent,” says Johansson, whose vibe is frank (and admittedly a bit jet-lagged) today and dressed movie-star casual: jeans, a tomato-red ribbed Alexander Wang top and black stilettos. “Obviously, it’s a lot of many different things at once, but there can be a loneliness and this constant feeling of doubt, that you don’t know what the hell you’re doing and you don’t have anyone else to bounce it off of.”

Continue reading  »


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In her most recent magazine feature, Scarlett was featured on the March 2020 issue of Entertainment Weekly. In addition to a stunning photoshoot, she discussed the upcoming movie, Black Widow.

“This film is very much a result of that journey, my own personal journey,” Johansson says of her 10-year run as Black Widow. “I feel that I probably wasn’t as willing or able to go to the kind of uncomfortable, embarrassing, ugly places before. I think it’s just as you get older, you trust yourself more.”
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"I’m certainly, obviously, very happy and fulfilled in my personal life, but I’m also a sum of many parts, and able to access different parts of my story and how I got here. It’s all valuable."
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