Scarlett Johansson Says She Was 'Groomed' to Be a 'Bombshell-Type of Actor' Early in Her Career

"Young girls like that are really objectified, and that's just a fact," Scarlett Johansson said of her early film career

Scarlett Johansson
Photo: John Phillips/Getty

Scarlett Johansson is reflecting on how she shifted her career to not get pigeonholed as "a bombshell-type of actor."

During the Black Widow star's appearance on the Table for Two podcast on Tuesday, 38-year-old Johansson told host Bruce Bozzi that she felt she had landed in a "weird fever dream" after filming the 2003 movies Lost in Translation and Girl with a Pearl Earring in her teenage years.

"It sort of was my transition into my adult career," Johansson said during the podcast, noting she experienced "a really hard time doing Lost in Translation."

"I kind of became like an ingénue, sort of, and I just think that's part of — young girls like that are really objectified, and that's just a fact," the actress added. "I did Lost in Translation and Girl With the Pearl Earring and by that point, I was 18, 19, and I was coming into my own womanhood and learning my own desirability and sexuality."

"I think it was because of that trajectory I had been sort of launched towards — I really got stuck," she said.

Scarlett Johansson attends the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood and Highland on February 09, 2020 in Hollywood, California
Amy Sussman/Getty

"I was kind of being groomed, in a way, to be this what you call a bombshell-type of actor," Johansson said of her early career. The actress said "playing the other woman and the object of desire" left her feeling "cornered in this place like I couldn't get out of it."

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During the interview, Johannson cited Creative Artists Agency partner and co-chairman Bryan Lourd — Bozzi's spouse — as a person who helped her turn her own career around.

"It would be easy to sit across from someone in that situation and go, 'This is working, why change it?' " the actress said of changing the course of her career along with Lourd. "But for that kind of bombshell, you know, that burns bright and quick and then it's done and you don't have opportunity beyond that."

In October, Johansson said she was "hypersexualized" as a young actress during an appearance on actor Dax Shepard's podcast Armchair Expert, despite saying that sex was "never a huge part of my actual personality."

"Because I think everybody thought I was older and I'd been [acting] for a long time and then I got kind of pigeonholed into this weird hypersexualized thing," she added.

"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 I guess.'"

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