Scarlett Johansson Reveals Joaquin Phoenix Walked Out Of The Studio While Working On Their Sex Scene For Her

Though relegated to only voice-only performance, Scarlett Johansson's role as the sultry voice of the A.I. Samantha in Spike Jonze's 2013 critically acclaimed hit film Her is perhaps one of the actress' most underrated parts outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Johansson and Phoenix share palpable chemistry and convincingly play the part of two souls loving and learning from one another, even though one is confined to a human body. At the same time, the other is an operating system. Though the two actors play off each other nicely on screen, apparently, behind the scenes, things didn't go so smoothly, especially when it came time to do the voice work for their sex scene. 

The award inning actress appeared on Dax Sheppard's Armchair Expert Podcast, where she discussed everything from being sexualized at a young age to working with Billy Murray–which sounds hilarious if you're a fan encountering the eccentric actor, but not so much if you're a coworker. The conversation gets fascinating when Scarlett tells a story of upsetting Joaquin to the point the actor walked out during the audio recording session of their sex scene. The actress explains she was uncomfortable hearing her voice, especially performing something so intimate, so she decided they should "get dirty" to help loosen the tension. The actress went on to say:

So our characters have sex in the film. You don't want to hear your voice ever, obviously. You definitely don't want to hear what you sound like having an orgasm. You definitely don't want to hear what you sound like having a fake orgasm. It's so gross, right? I remember we came in that day, I become that actor that's like 'Let's get dirty.' I have to otherwise I'll be petrified. Joaquin comes in, we tried to get through one take, and he was, like, losing it. He was like 'I can't do it.' He was angry.

While talking dirty was a way for the Lost in Translation actress to overcome her fear of recording the intimate scene, it was a technique that Phoenix didn't appreciate. The Joker actor had already shot the scenes in real life and found the recording booth audio session uncomfortable. Johansson goes on:

He'd already done it. He'd already done it in person, and now he's with me in this weird theater, I'm in this box and he's like staring at me. The lights are low, and Spike was there, it was so bizarre.

Johansson goes on to share, between Phoenix getting upset with her and the grueling demands of Jones as director, the part was one of the most challenging of her life and is a role she has not gone back to watch. Despite the challenges in the movie's production, the actress doesn't seem to harbor any resentment, and seems pretty understanding of the actor's plights at that moment. The star continues:

I was fine, Joaquin was not. He was so upset about it he left the studio. Now I'm in this box by myself like, 'I can't do it alone. I need him to come back.' He needed a break. He took a break and he came back in.

It's good Joaquin returned after having a chance to calm down. It would have been unprofessional for him to leave the actress to do the scene alone. 

For now, Johansson's time in the MCU has ended, and the actress explains why she's fine moving on from her role of over a decade. However, considering how much she loved her time as Natasha Romanoff in the Marvel world, never say never to her return in the future. The actress can be seen next in Wes Anderson's romantic comedy-drama Asteroid City.

As for Phoenix, the actor is set to return to a confirmed Joker 2, and here are 6 quick things we know about it. Joker is streaming no for anyone with an HBO Max subscription

For all of your film-going plans in the coming months, you can look at our 2022 Movie Release Schedule.

Ryan LaBee

Ryan graduated from Missouri State University with a BA in English/Creative Writing. An expert in all things horror, Ryan enjoys covering a wide variety of topics. He's also a lifelong comic book fan and an avid watcher of Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon.