Scarlett Johansson On Her Career Controversies: ‘I Was Really Off Mark’

Scarlett Johansson has opened about how she feels about the various controversies she’s been embroiled in throughout her career, saying in a recent interview that she knows she’s been “inconsiderate” and “off mark” at times.

For the Spring & Summer 2021 issue of U.K. publication The Gentlewoman, the actor admitted she’s “made a career” out of controversy.

To name a few, the star was lambasted for starring in “Ghost in the Shell,” in a role intended for an Asian actor; she doubled down on her being cast, went on to take on a trans role in a film, and adamantly defended her right to play any “person, or any tree, or any animal” in a subsequent interview. She later withdrew from the film after backlash. She’s also been widely criticized for starring in director Woody Allen’s films and declaring in recent years that she believes him to be innocent. Allen was notably accused of sexually abusing his adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow when she was a young girl, but vehemently denies the allegations.

“I’m going to have opinions about things, because that’s just who I am,” Johansson told the publication. “I mean, everyone has a hard time admitting when they’re wrong about stuff, and for all of that to come out publicly, it can be embarrassing. To have the experience of, Wow, I was really off mark there, or I wasn’t looking at the big picture, or I was inconsiderate. I’m also a person.”

The 36-year-old also shared that she’s learning to recognize “when it’s not your turn to speak.”

“I can be reactive. I can be impatient. That doesn’t mix that great with self-awareness,” she said.

Johansson also emphasized that she doesn’t “think actors have obligations to have a public role in society.”

“Some people want to, but the idea that you’re obligated to because you’re in the public eye is unfair,” she said. “You didn’t choose to be a politician, you’re an actor. Your job is to reflect our experience to ourselves; your job is to be a mirror for an audience, to be able to have an empathetic experience through art. That is what your job is. Whatever my political views are, all that stuff, I feel most successful when people can sit in a theatre or at home and disappear into a story or a performance and see pieces of themselves, or are able to connect with themselves through this experience of watching this performance or story or interaction between actors or whatever it is.”

“And they’re affected by it and they’re thinking about it, and they feel something. You know? They have an emotional reaction to it — good, bad, uncomfortable, validating, whatever. That’s my job. The other stuff is not my job,” she added.

Johansson is slated to star in the upcoming film “Black Widow,” in the eponymous role, out this summer.

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