Scarlett Johansson has opened up about several controversies that have followed her career lately.
In the latest issue of Vanity Fair, the 35-year-old discussed her mishandling of a transgender casting situation, taking a role in a dramedy featuring a fictionalized Hitler and standing by Woody Allen — who has been shunned by many in Hollywood after accusations of sexual abuse from his daughter Dylan Farrow were revisited.
Johansson – who worked with Allen on three films — told the Hollywood Reporter in September, “I love Woody. I believe him, and I would work with him anytime. He maintains his innocence and I believe him.”
And she still stands behind what she said, telling Vanity Fair, “I don’t know — I feel the way I feel about it.”
“It’s my experience,” she continued. “I don’t know any more than any other person knows. I only have a close proximity with Woody — he’s a friend of mine. But I have no other insight other than my relationship with him.”
As for some people being uncomfortable with that opinion — especially in the wake of the #MeToo movement — as it appears to say “I don’t believe you,” to a woman who has spoken out about sexual misconduct or abuse, Johansson took pause.
“Yeah,” she said to VF. “I do understand how that is triggering for some people. But just because I believe my friend does not mean that I don’t support women, believe women. I think you have to take it on a case-by-case basis. You can’t have this blanket statement — I don’t believe that. But that’s my personal belief. That’s how I feel.”
In July, she found herself mired in controversy once again when she took the role of a transgender man in a biographical movie of his life. When critics got loud arguing the role should have gone to a trans actor, Johansson made a statement saying, “Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment,” referencing actors who have been awarded for playing trans characters.
Her response appeared tone-deaf and after dropping out of the film, Johansson admits she could have done better.
“In hindsight, I mishandled that situation,” she told VF. “I was not sensitive, my initial reaction to it. I wasn’t totally aware of how the trans community felt about those three actors playing — and how they felt in general about cis actors playing—transgender people. I wasn’t aware of that conversation — I was uneducated. So I learned a lot through that process. I misjudged that. It was a hard time. It was like a whirlwind. I felt terribly about it. To feel like you’re kind of tone-deaf to something is not a good feeling.”
As for her role in JoJo Rabbit by Taika Waititi, Johansson plays a mother trying to raise a son who is being possessed by the Nazi-youth mania set in the waning months of the Third Reich. Critics warned against making Hitler any sort of sympathetic character, as it can even come off needless, according to The New Yorker. “Today, making fun of Hitler and his minions is both easy and pointless, because he poses no threat; Waititi is kicking a dead bull.”
But Johansson saw it as a rare opportunity to find a great script with a great director who would make an “anti-hate” satire.
“The script was fantastic. It was a gem. I mean: perfect. Obviously I’ve read plenty of scripts over these 20-whatever years, and when something is that tight and surprising and touching and unusual — I was, like, ‘’This is really special.’ And I felt Taika was capable of making it the way that it deserved to be made.”
After taking the controversies head on, Johansson ended the interview saying she’s excited for her “Marriage Story” with Adam Driver, but even more pleased with just wrapping her own untitled Black Widow movie.
And she almost missed that one as the role of the international assassin originally went to Emily Blunt.
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