Scarlett Johansson: ‘Admitting That You’re Vulnerable Is a Very Powerful Thing’

NEW YORK TIMES – The movie business is changing. Women have become increasingly visible as directors (Kathryn Bigelow, Lisa Cholodenko, Ava DuVernay) and successful producers (Reese Witherspoon’s production company Pacific Standard scored huge hits with “Gone Girl” and “Wild”; Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy won an Oscar in 2016 for the documentary short “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness”). Yet many actresses are still paid less than their male peers, and the Academy Awards of 2016 were widely criticized for the lack of nonwhite nominees.

Only a few A-list actresses have been celebrated for their ability to throw punches or show menace on the screen, but that’s beginning to change as well. Scarlett Johansson, 32, received critical acclaim for her role as an alien on the hunt in “Under the Skin” and will appear in 2017 as a crime-fighting policewoman in “Ghost in the Shell.” Her superstar turn as the Black Widow in “The Avengers” series has helped to make her the highest-grossing actress of all time, pulling in over $3.3 billion for movie studios, according to Box Office Mojo. Still, as of this fall, she was the only woman in the top 20 on Mojo’s list.

In an interview, Ms. Johansson discusses how women’s roles in real life are changing their roles in film. The conversation has been edited and abridged.

The world has watched you grow up on screen — you started so early. Over the course of that time, the roles available to women in real life have changed a lot. Is the process of filmmaking starting to reflect that?

We see more female directors, more women in various departments on set. If you looked around a film set even 10 years ago, it was basically a bunch of dudes; maybe in the wardrobe department or in the hair and makeup department there would be women. Now you see more female camera assistants, cinematographers, grips.

In the job that I’m on now, “Rock That Body,” there are a number of women working as crew members, as opposed to many other productions that I’ve been on.

Is this changing the experience of acting for you?

It’s nice to have a diverse group of people so that it doesn’t become so one-note — to have a female energy on set, to have different types of people and different vibes, and a more balanced creative environment.
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Scarlett Covers Variety’s Power of Women Issue

What a cover shot, right? Scarlett looks incredible for Variety magazine’s Power of Women issue which features multiple cover stars–including Helen Mirren, Miley Cyrus, Laverne Cox and Ava Duvernay. Scarlett’s interview is available to read below, and outtakes from the shoot have also been uploaded.

VARIETY – Planned Parenthood has come under attack during the presidential election, as pro-life Republicans attempt to cut funding for the organization that provides abortions and an array of other medical services for women.

“It’s pretty terrifying,” says Scarlett Johansson. “Somehow, a woman’s right to choose has become a subject that’s on the Republican platform. I don’t really know what it has to do with politics at all. It seems to be a deeply personal issue.”

Growing up in New York, the actress relied on Planned Parenthood for regular checkups, she says.
“I used them to screen me for STDs or take care of my reproductive health, as did all my girlfriends. When I was asked to represent their initiative, it was a no-brainer.”

Planned Parenthood turns 100 this year, with 650 health centers across the U.S. that see 2.5 million patients a year for cancer screenings, birth control, STD testing, and breast exams.

Johansson is a major advocate of such services. In 2012, she made Planned Parenthood and women’s health central themes of her speech at the Democratic National Convention. Two years later, she helped design T-shirts to boost voting in the midterm elections, and she has recorded an audio message that encourages listeners to enroll in less-expensive insurance options available through the Affordable Care Act.

Her high-profile efforts on behalf of the nonprofit don’t stop there, according to Caren Spruch, Planned Parenthood’s director of arts and entertainment engagement.

“She even filmed a video about the impact that Congressional assaults would have on millions of women who rely on Planned Parenthood when she was on location shooting a film,” Spruch says.

Johansson is enhancing her efforts by publicly backing Hillary Clinton, who has vowed to support Planned Parenthood if elected president.

“Hillary is the right candidate for right now,” Johansson says. “I think she’s got a lot of integrity. She’s got a lot of stamina. She’s a very clever politician, and that’s actually important to me. Maybe it’s because I have a daughter now.”

Flaunt Magazine’s [CTRL-C]+[CTRL-V] Issue

Almost ten years since her last feature (remember this?) for the magazine, Scarlett is once again gracing the pages of Flaunt–for their [CTRL-C]+[CTRL-V] issue. I’ve uploaded photos of the photoshoot to the gallery and the accompanying interview can be read below. Hopefully further coverage will be available for me to share with you very soon. Enjoy!

FLAUNT – Scarlett Johansson is curled comfortably on a stiff slate couch while she narrates to me the details of a popular YouTube video. “It’s two minutes-old twins and they’re being washed for the first time in warm water,” she says, “they’re in the position they were in in-utero and the warm water recreates the womb for them.” She tells me that the video is amazing, her face has a slight glow as she talks about it. “If you really want to see something miraculous,” she says, “It’s so beautiful.” I vow to watch it when I return home—I’d like to get a better understanding for what it must be like to have another human be a direct copy, a DNA complement to yourself. Having a twin sibling, like Johansson does, is a mystery to those who are unmatched.

“My brother and I started life this way,” she says. “In that sense, I’ve never really been alone—ever—which is interesting and probably affects my whole life. We’re extremely close. You have a witness to your life in my many ways. Even if we’re far apart, we have this deep connection with one another.”

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Scarlett Johansson on the scrutiny of Black Widow

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY – Black Widow never has it easy.

Onscreen, Natasha Romanov has an agonizing backstory and is working like hell to do enough good to erase the red from her moral ledger, redeeming a history of bad deeds that we are only allowed to imagine with acts of heroism that defy belief.

Offscreen, much of what Scarlett Johansson’s character does is scrutinized through the lens of gender politics. As one of the few female protagonists in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (until recently), some view her not just as an individual character but as a representative for all womankind. That’s heavy lifting even for a superhero.

Amid accusations that her story arc in Avengers: Age of Ultron was stereotyped and offensive — because, like Tony Stark, she expressed a desire to step back from saving the world (and maybe find someone in it to love, and love her back) — Black Widow became a lightning rod.

Some accused writer-director Joss Whedon of sexism for a storyline that involved Widow developing romantic feelings for Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner in the comic-book version of the Beauty and the Beast folktale. Others were outraged that Widow expressed regret over the juvenile assassin program that forced her to be sterilized. Still others took offense at that complaint, saying the desire to have a family doesn’t mean a woman can’t have a career (beating the hell out of evildoers, or otherwise).

NPR’s pop culture critic Linda Holmes astutely noted that even if you swapped out Widow’s story in Ultron with the arcs of any of her male co-Avengers, each would still “raise questions of whether the story was influenced by gender stereotypes.” If she was Iron Man, she’d be the problem-causer. If she was Captain America, she’d be the uptight one. If she was Hulk, she’d have out-of-control emotions. And so on…

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Scarlett Johansson tells Stylist what makes her tick

STYLIST – She’s world famous yet incredibly private; effortlessly cool but secretly down-to-earth. Stylist meets the actress to discover what makes her tick.

Of all the things Stylist expected Scarlett Johansson to be into, RuPaul’s Drag Race was not one of them. See also cooking meatloaf and fan-girling over Clive Owen. But then, how much do we really know about the Hollywood star? She’s beguiled critics, audiences and co-stars alike since her big breakout in the late Nineties in The Horse Whisperer. Career-defining roles in Lost In Translation and Vicky Cristina Barcelona followed, leading to her current straddling of both the blockbuster world – starring in the Marvel franchise – and the arthouse with films like Under The Skin.

Yet she has managed to keep her private world just that. We know little of the life she shares with her French husband Romain Dauriac, a creative advertising exec, and their baby Rose Dorothy, living between Paris and New York. But the career choices she makes and her political advocacy – she’s campaigned for the Democrats in three elections now – suggest a smart, cultured and passionate mind. One that we wanted to know more about.

When Stylist meets 30-year-old Johansson she’s dressed in a sharp black trouser suit, her short crop swished to the side, New Romantic style. She wears a cluster of rings and a charm bracelet tattoo on her wrist – you have to squint to see the slogan it bears: ‘I Heart NY’. It’s a discreet declaration, but one that offers a tantalising glimpse behind the scenes.

In conversation. Johansson is equal parts fun and serious. Particularly striking is how she concentrates on you; studying your mannerisms as much as you do hers. This observational skill is one of the qualities that marks out every part she takes on, not least in her current role as Black Widow in Avengers: Age Of Ultron, which she has built up into a truly three dimensional character since joining the Marvel family in 2010.

So, what lies behind the on-screen heroics? What are Johansson’s real life passions? Here, she tells Stylist what really makes her happy.

My TV Obsessions: I love RuPaul’s Drag Race. The show is delightful. That’s the guilty pleasure. I love [US chef] Anthony Bourdain. He has a great travel show called Parts Unknown. He’s my favourite. What else is on my ‘to watch’ list? I’m waiting for the second season of [historic drama] The Knick. Clive Owen is amazing. I totally geeked out when I saw him at a party recently. I was over-zealous. I’d met him before but this time I was like [frantically], “I just have to tell you I love you, oh my god.” I was talking about the season and what’s going to happen next. He must think I’m a freak.

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Social Connect
Projects

Black Widow [2021]
as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow

A film about Natasha Romanoff in her quests between the films Civil War and Infinity War.

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Sing 2 [2021]
as Ash

Buster Moon and his friends must persuade reclusive rock star Clay Calloway to join them for the opening of a new show.

InfoIMDbPhotosOfficial Site


Upcoming
2022 Untitled Wes Anderson Film filming
2022 Little Shop of Horrors rumored
2022 Bride pre-production
2023 Ghosted announced
On TV
Sing   |   Sep 18th @ 3:40pm EST DISNEY
Captain America: Civil War   |   Sep 18th @ 6:45pm EST USA
He’s Just Not That Into You   |   Sep 19th @ 6:30am EST E!
He’s Just Not That Into You   |   Sep 20th @ 12am EST E!
Lost in Translation   |   Sep 20th @ 1:12am EST STARZ
Rough Night   |   Sep 20th @ 11:30pm EST FXM
Don Jon   |   Sep 21st @ 1am EST TMC
Rough Night   |   Sep 21st @ 2:55pm EST FXM
He’s Just Not That Into You   |   Sep 22nd @ 9:30pm EST BRAVO
He’s Just Not That Into You   |   Sep 23rd @ 4am EST BRAVO
Don Jon   |   Sep 24th @ 10:40pm EST TMC
Hitchcock   |   Sep 24th @ 11pm EST HBO2
Jojo Rabbit   |   Sep 26th @ 5:01am EST MAX
Ghost World   |   Sep 29th @ 3am EST FLIXe
Jojo Rabbit   |   Sep 29th @ 4:10pm EST MAX
The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie   |   Sep 30th @ 3:30am EST SHO2e
Sister Site
Family Sites
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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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Quoting Scarlett
"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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