Scarlett Johansson Says She was "Groomed" To Become a "Bombshell-Type Actor"

Scarlett Johannson Marriage Story

Los Angeles, CA - November 05, 2019: Scarlett Johansson attends the Premiere of Netflix's "Marriage Story"at DGA Theater (Editorial credit: Ovidiu Hrubaru /

While Scarlett Johansson has been a successful actor, she admits to being "groomed" into becoming a typecast 'Bombshell-Type Actor.' 

Scarlett Johansson recently shared on the "Table for Two with Bruce Bozzi" podcast that she felt cultivated by Hollywood to fit a "bombshell" image during her early career. She was consistently cast in roles and films such as "Lost in Translation," "Girl With the Pearl Earring" and "Match Point," which all portrayed her as an object of male desire while she desperately tried to build up stardom within the industry.

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"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," Johansson said. "I was kind of being groomed, in a way, to be this what you call a bombshell-type actor. I was playing the other woman and the object of desire, and I suddenly found myself cornered in this place. I couldn't get out of it."

She continued, "It would be easy to sit across from someone in that situation and go, 'This is working.' 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. It was an interesting, weird conundrum to be in, but it really came back to working at it and trying to carve a place in different projects and work in great ensembles."

Johansson reminded listeners that even her Black Widow role in "Iron Man 2" was written as "underdeveloped and over-sexualized" at first. The actor worked with director Jon Favreau, and Marvel studios head Kevin Feige to re-work the character into something more progressive. Johansson revealed earlier this year that her constant "hyper-sexualization" in Hollywood led her to think her career was ending.

"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," Johansson said on the "Armchair Expert" podcast. "I remember thinking to myself, 'I think people think I'm 40 years old.' It somehow stopped being something that was desirable and something that I was fighting against."

"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 hyper-sexualized thing," she continued. "I felt like [my career] was over. 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?'"

Next for Johansson is her debut in a live-action Wes Anderson project, the star-studded "Asteroid City" set to open in June 2023. Following that, she'll be starring alongside Sienna Miller and Emily Beecham under Kristin Scott Thomas' direction in "My Mother's Wedding."

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