While Hollywood is known to be particularly demanding for actresses, Scarlett Johansson had the misfortune of learning the industry’s jarring ins and outs at a shockingly young age. So, as someone who has experienced the shackles of being compartmentalized into overtly sexualized roles, the Marvel veteran is well aware of the netherworld of show business.
And seeing how Brad Pitt has battled similar stereotypes for ages now, it makes sense why ScarJo would be keen on learning a thing or two from him.
Related: “I was kind of being groomed to be a bombshell”: Black Widow Star Scarlett Johansson Was Tired of Being the Object of Desire in Every Other Movie
Brad Pitt Inspired Scarlett Johansson to Outgrow Stereotypes
In the 36 or so years that he has spent in Hollywood, Brad Pitt has been elevated to the status of the industry heartthrob on more than one occasion (fine, innumerable occasions). In fact, in one of his interviews with The Financial Times, the two-time Academy Award winner confessed that the idea of being a stereotypical masculine icon rendered him utterly “exhausted.”
Enter Scarlett Johansson, yet another A-lister who is vaunted as one of the most acclaimed and talented in the lot and underwent a similar experience as Pitt.
Despite having an impressive streak of projects and accolades to attest to her success in the industry, there have been times when the Black Widow star felt anything but triumphant, owing to the vile chains of hypersexualized roles that left her feeling imprisoned. In light of the same, Johansson, 38, believed that no one does it better than Pitt, 59, who managed to escape the chokehold of stereotypes by exploring “diverse roles” –
“If you want to grow out of the stereotype the media stamp on you as an actor you have to focus on challenging yourself and taking on diverse roles. Brad Pitt has managed to do that. While he has always been regarded as ‘so gorgeous’ he has never let that prevent him from being a character actor, which is what he is and what I have always wanted to be.”
You go girl!
Related: “It was quite a disadvantage at that time”: Scarlett Johansson Claims Her Most Noticeable Feature Made Casting Directors Reject Her
ScarJo on Being Hypersexualized As A Teenager
Although she kickstarted her acting career back in 1994, Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation was one of the major films that helped launch her toward international recognition. And while the project did wonders for her in terms of unlocking more opportunities, playing a character five years her senior beside Bill Murray wasn’t the most pleasant experience for Johansson who had just been 17 at the time.
During her appearance on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast, the Asteroid City star lamented bearing the weight of being typecast as the quintessential bombshell in movies, something that soon became a threat to her career.
Related: “He’s so uncomfortable around that topic”: Scarlett Johansson Made Director Squeaky With Her Rare Naked Scene for Which She Charged Only $36000 Salary
“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 […] Because I think everybody thought I was older and that I’d been [acting] for a long time, I got kind of pigeonholed into this weird hypersexualized thing. I felt like [my career] was over.”
But that was years ago, and ever since then, the industry has certainly taken gradual steps toward the direction of progress, and that is hopeful enough of a prospect to hold onto.