Scarlett Johansson has recently revealed to Variety that she auditioned for Alfonso Cuarón’s 2013 space tale Gravity. The role would go to Sandra Bullock, who appeared opposite George Clooney, leaving the star feeling “helpless.”
The Oscar-nominated star has opened up about missing out on projects and how that can affect an actress’ self-esteem. The Jojo Rabbit actor said she considered quitting the industry around 2011, after two coveted roles went to Sandra Bullock and Emily Blunt.
Scarlett Johansson also compared the depressing feeling with originally losing out on playing Black Widow in the MCU. Luckily for Johansson, the first choice backed out, so she landed the iconic role. In a candid interview, the star opened up about the hopeless feeling that came with losing roles and how they changed her career trajectory.
“The work I was being offered [after] felt deeply unfulfilling,” she explained. “I think I was offered every Marilyn Monroe script ever. I was like, ‘Is this the end of the road creatively?’”
How Losing This MCU Role Affected Scarlett Johansson
In a recent Variety interview, Scarlett Johansson speaks about losing out on two roles and how they put her in a “crisis mode.”
Not only did Johansson lose out on Gravity, but she was not the first choice to play Black Widow. Emily Blunt was originally cast as the role in Iron Man 2, before having to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. It led to Johansson playing the life-changing superhero role
“I got turned down for two roles — the first was ‘Iron Man 2’ and then the other one was Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘Gravity,’” Johansson said. “I had wanted that role so much. It was sort of the straw that broke the camel’s back. I felt really frustrated and hopeless. Like, ‘Am I doing the right job?’ The work I was being offered felt deeply unfulfilling.”
“The best call you can receive is after you are rejected for something and then you get it,” she told Parade about landing the role of Black Widow in the MCU. “You appreciate it more. I’ve basically made a career out of being second choice.”
Over the following decade, Johansson starred in eight Marvel films. 2021’s Black Widow was her last film as the comic book character.“I absolutely loved every filming experience I had, working 10 years with Marvel and with that amazing cast, and I love the character Natasha,” she said in honor of her role in the record-breaking films. “I have a lot of empathy for her, and it was amazing to build that character over such a long period of time.”
She admits that while on the former assassin was limited, she could see how it could transform her career. “That movie wasn’t going to move the needle forward in terms of how my character was written, but there was potential for what it could be — a potential for growth in subsequent films.”
Scarlett Johansson’s Weird Audition For Gravity
Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, the Black Widow actress also revealed that Gravity was one of her weirder Hollywood audition stories.
“I did a screen test for the movie Gravity, that Sandra Bullock is fantastic in, but I had to be in like the full, whole space suit thing, and sort of pretend I was kind of like floating in space,” Johansson recalled. “Even though I was just sitting in a chair with a helmet on.”
Released in 2013, Gravity starred Sandra Bullock as an astronaut in outer space trying to return to Earth after the destruction of her space shuttle. The film was a critical and box office success, pulling in more than $723 million at the box office. It won seven Academy Awards, including Best Director. Bullock was Oscar-nominated for the role.
Scarlett Johansson Has Struggled With Typecasting
The 38-year-old has revealed that she has struggled with being typecast as a bombshell following her role in Sofia Coppola’s 2003 film, Lost in Translation. Scarlett Johansson has spoken about her career being stunted by her blonde pinup image.
She has opened up about being sexualized as a young actress. “When I was working in my early 20s and even my late teens, I felt that I got somehow typecast as hypersexualized, which I guess at the time seemed OK to everyone — it was another time — even though it wasn’t part of my own narrative.”
“It was kind of crafted for me by probably a bunch of dudes in the industry,” she added.
During an interview with THR, Johansson explained that “it was really difficult for me to try to figure out how to get out of being an ingenue or the ‘other woman’ because it was never anything that I had intended.”
She added, “I remember thinking at the time that maybe I needed a different job in this industry that would be more fulfilling, because it seemed like there was nowhere to go,” she said.
“It was hard to get out of that pigeonhole,” she told Variety recently. “And I did films like ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ and movies that kind of continued that narrative. I couldn’t make any headway.”
How Scarlett Johansson Found Her Passion For Acting
After years of feeling disheartened with Hollywood and being typecast, it was the stage where Scarlett Johansson finally gained some control back over her career, She credits her role in the Tony Award–winning play A View from the Bridge, for giving her a “growth spurt” — both creatively and artistically.
Johansson started to attach herself to movies that aligned with her vision, like Her and Under Her Skin. “Suddenly it was like, ‘I still love this job,’” Scarlett said. “And it reignited my passion for the work. I felt less anxious.”
The Marriage Story star also praises the influence of agent Bryan Lourd, claiming that he was the first person in Hollywood to pay attention to her creative needs and her acting talents. “I was kind of being groomed, in a way, to be this what you call a bombshell-type of actor.”
“I was playing the other woman, and the object of desire, and I suddenly found myself cornered in this place like I couldn’t get out of it. Right around that time is when I met with Bryan.”