Scarlett Johansson Recalls Being Pigeonholed Into Hypersexualized Roles As Young Actor

Scarlett Johansson says she became “objectified” as a young actor and was and pigeonholed into a “hypersexualized” career.

The Black Widow star made the comments during an Oct. 10 conversation on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast. She recalled how in 2003 at 17 she was cast to play a character five years older in Lost in Translation.

“I think everybody thought I was older,” she said, adding, “I got kind of pigeonholed into this weird, hypersexualized thing…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?”

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Johansson said, “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. I remember thinking to myself, I was like, ‘I think people think I’m, like, 40 years old.’ It somehow stopped being something that was desirable and something that I was fighting against.”

She told Shepard that she was hopeful things are getting better for young performers today, noting the careers of Zendaya and Florence Pugh.

“I’ve come to this realization that it’s important to understand progress and change when it’s really meaningful,” she said. “It takes two steps forward and two steps back, and then it gets better and then it gets worse. It’s not finite. I think if you don’t leave room for people to figure it out, then the actual progressive change doesn’t really happen.”

Listen to the podcast here.

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