Scarlett Johansson Talks ‘Being Groomed’ In Hollywood For ‘Bombshell’ Roles

Scarlett Johansson has worked as an actress since childhood. Doing so has allowed her to live several lives as a star in Hollywood. While she’s leveled up with each phase, there was a point in her illustrious career where ScarJo felt like she was being pigeonholed. The former MCU star felt trapped in the bombshell role in films like Match Point and The Black Dahlia. Eventually she broke away from the archetype with action and dramatic roles. Looking back at that period, the Black Widow star talked about being groomed by Hollywood to be a bombshell.

The Oscar-nominated actress opened up about being stereotyped in Hollywood during an interview with the Table for Two podcast. Host Bruce Bozzi gave Scarlett Johansson credit for putting aside her sex symbol status when it comes to her action and dramatic roles. She was asked how she sidestepped the trap compared to past Hollywood sex symbols. Johansson mentioned that early in her career, she couldn’t escape it. The Hollywood A-lister spoke about shifting her acting career several times from child actress to teen star to ingenue roles. She commented that oftentimes the film industry “objectified” young actresses as they transition from youth to adult roles.

The Jojo Rabbit star then remarked actresses are often placed on “a trajectory” based on certain boxes. She explained how being placed in the bombshell box affected her Hollywood career for a few years.

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. I think it was because of that trajectory I had been sort of launched towards — I really got stuck. I was kind of being groomed, in a way, to be this what you call a bombshell-type of actor. I was playing the other woman and the object of desire and I suddenly found myself cornered in this place like I couldn't get out of it. Right around that time is when I met with Bryan.

Like many actresses of her era, Scarlett Johansson was more seen than heard when it came to what they wanted to do with their careers. The former Marvel star has been very open about how being hypersexualized by Hollywood affected her early 20s. Starting in Hollywood so young even affected how she viewed herself off-screen, particularly with facing the pressure to stay thin. Facing these unrealistic expectations caused the A Marriage Story actress to push against certain adversities.  

But there was an inevitable saving grace when Scarlett Johansson met renowned Hollywood agent Bryan Lourd. She recalled Lourd being the first person in Hollywood to listen to ScarJo’s needs as a creative. She viewed being a Hollywood bombshell as “burns out bright and quick” The stereotype limited her acting opportunities beyond those roles, according to the A-lister. Eventually she broke out from her box by “working at it.” The Black Widow actress achieved this by working on “different projects” with “great ensembles.”

Scarlett Johansson is more in control of her career now compared to her early Hollywood years. After finishing her MCU tenure, the Hollywood star has several upcoming projects lined up, including the Apple TV+ film Project Artemis, which she is producing. Check out our 2023 movie schedule to see what new projects from ScarJo will premiere next year.

Adreon Patterson
News Writer

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).