Scarlett Johansson opened up about her feelings regarding her personal life and career.
The Black Widow star, 36, talked to The Gentlewoman for their spring/summer issue and talked about why she feels her political views and beliefs have nothing to do with her acting career.
Scarlett Johansson on actors and politics
“I don’t think actors have obligations to have a public role in society,” Johansson 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.”
Johansson went on to explain that her job is to remain empathetic and be a mirror for the audience. She admitted that being outspoken politically takes the audience out of the story when they see you in a movie.
“Whatever my political views are, all that stuff, I feel most successful when people can sit in a theatre or at home and disappear into a story or a performance and see pieces of themselves,” Johansson said.
“They’re affected by it and they’re thinking about it, and they feel something. You know? They have an emotional reaction to it – good, bad, uncomfortable, validating, whatever. That’s my job.
“The other stuff is not my job.”
Johansson began acting at a young age, finding her first movie role in the 1994 film North with Elijah Wood and her first leading role two years later in the movie Manny & Lo.
Her rise to fame came quickly after that, gaining praise and acclaim for her role in the Robert Redford movie, The Horse Whisperer and her subsequent title roles in Lost In Translation and Girl With a Pearl Earring.
When the pandemic hit in 2020, Johansson’s acting was put on pause, and her film, Black Widow, continuing the story of Marvel superhero Natasha Romanoff, hit snags and delays.
Scarlett Johansson on slowing down
She talked about the challenges of being forced to slow down with The Gentlewoman.
“I don’t know, I was having an out-of-body experience,” Johansson said. “At the beginning, I was doing all this crap that everyone was doing – like, I’ll start learning how to play guitar…Whatever.
“In between panicking. And then that stuff sort of faded away, and I realized actually that I exist pretty well in this space. I realize I don’t have to be constantly in motion to survive.”
Johansson went to to say that she questioned what would happen to her if everything went away. The pandemic has helped her cope with that, because everything did go away for awhile and everything turned out okay.
“It’s this great fear of the unknown, and now I’ve been that way for some time, I realize, Oh, actually, you’re still alive,” Johansson said.
“It probably comes from some fear of death, anyway.”
Though the pandemic altered the actress’s professional life, she did have much to celebrate with her intimate and surprise wedding with Saturday Night Live actor, Colin Jost.
The pair wed in October 2020 after a 17-month engagement.
Black Widow is set to be released July 9, 2021.