Scarlett Johansson thought her future was in doubt in Hollywood after losing roles to Emily Blunt and Sandra Bullock.
Though there is no shame in losing roles to a Hollywood heavyweight like Bullock or an up-and-coming actress like Blunt, the 38-year-old Johansson recently said that she became demoralized and started questioning her future after being rejected for parts in the 2010 Marvel movie “Iron Man 2” and the 2013 science fiction hit “Gravity,” starring alongside George Clooney.
In an interview with Variety, the “Black Widow” actress said this via Fox News: “I got turned down for two roles — the first was ‘Iron Man 2’ and then the other one was Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘Gravity,’” Johansson told the outlet. “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?’”
Despite her performance in 2010’s “Lost in Translation” with superstar Bill Murray, which earned her a best actress Golden Globe nomination, Johannson began to think she was being typecast as the “bombshell.”
Is Scarlett Johansson sad to be done with playing Black Widow? “Yeah, I am sad, of course,” she says. “I absolutely loved every filming experience I had, working 10 years with Marvel and with that amazing cast, and I love the character Natasha.” https://t.co/QlaAUHm2d2 pic.twitter.com/WZ4Bu0ADqm
— Variety (@Variety) May 9, 2023
Certainly, there are worse things in life than losing roles to a legend like Bullock. Still, that didn’t ease the sting any less, and her subsequent film choices didn’t help the narrative. She continued: “It was hard to get out of that pigeonhole,” Johansson recalled. “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.”
“The work I was being offered felt deeply unfulfilling,” she added. “I think I was offered every Marilyn Monroe script ever. I was like, ‘Is this the end of the road creatively?’”
When Emily Blunt withdrew from Iron Man 2 due to a scheduling issue, she was contractually obligated to appear in “Gullivers Travels,” the critical disaster fantasy adventure movie starring Jack Black, the role of Black Widow was offered to Johannson.
Though Black Widow only had a bit part in Iron Man 2, it opened the door for her deeper involvement in the Marvel franchise, including her own prequel movie. She said: “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.”
After Iron Man 2, Johansson made the savvy move to the stage rather than reprise her previous roles as a hot girl, and she subsequently won a Tony Award for the Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s “A View From the Bridge.”
After the necessary course correction career-wise, Scarlett Johansson has taken off and never looked back.
Johansson told Variety that subsequent roles in the 2013 films “Under The Skin” and “Her” reawakened her love of acting. “Suddenly it was like, ‘I still love this job,’” the “Lucy” star recalled. “And it reignited my passion for the work. I felt less anxious.”
Johansson reprised her role as Black Widow in eight movies in the MCU franchise including “The Avengers,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Captain America: Civil War,” “Avengers: Infinity Wary,” “Captain Marvel” and “Avengers: Endgame.”
Though Black Widow died in “Endgame,” she did the prequel Black Widow movie afterward, it is unlikely she will reprise the role in the future. She told co-star Gwyneth Paltrow on her podcast that she likely wouldn’t be coming back: “I’m done,” Johansson said Paltrow’s “The goop Podcast.” “Chapter’s over. I really felt like I kind of did all that I had to do. Also coming back and playing a character again and again, over a decade of time, is such a unique experience.”
Scarlett Johansson is still young, beautiful, and certainly has a long future ahead of her, even if it isn’t standing in front of a green screen playing a superhero.
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