That Time Scarlett Johansson Had To Pick Up Guys While Filming A Movie

Scarlett Johannson in Under the Skin
(Image credit: (A24))

2013’s Under the Skin was certainly one of the most bizarre roles to date for Scarlett Johansson. The actress played an alien masquerading as an alluring woman who scours the streets of Glasgow for men, entices them to have sex with her and then murders them in cold blood. As it turns out, during the making of Under the Skin Johansson had quite the unconventional experience with several of the men playing opposite of her. Here’s what she said:

A remarkable aspect of Under the Skin is that a lot of the people who appear in it aren’t actors. They’re normal people – who happen to be walking down a road minding their own business when a pretty lady pulls up in a van alongside them and offers them a lift to Tesco and then a film crew clutching disclaimers leaps out of the back.

Wait… what? Many of the men featured in Under the Skin were actually picked up by Scarlett Johansson herself, whilst she was in character in short black hair. In an interview with The Guardian, she was asked at what point did director Jonathan Glazer tell her they didn’t have other actors and the plan was to drift through the streets and find some during the making of the 2013 sci-fi drama? Her answer:

That happened later on. And none of us knew how it was going to work. We toyed with lots of different things like prosthetics, teeth, all kinds of things that would change my face but only slightly, when in fact there was no need to do any of that.

Under the Skin was an indie film with just a $13 million budget, which explains the lack of actors in the film. It was unclear if this method would actually work though. Would they recognize the actress? It seemed to work out in the film’s favor and lean into the realism of the experience.

Daily Mail spoke with one of the men who was approached by the famous actress. 29-year-old Kevin McAlinden stopped him while in her car, rolled down the window and asked “Are you single? What are you doing tonight?” He didn’t recognize her as Scarlett Johansson, but noticed the actress’ undeniable beauty had recently split with his partner. He thought he won the jackpot. In his words:

I thought, 'Yes! This is unbelievable!' I’d been having quite a tough time in my personal life, so this was like a lucky break. I should have known it was too good to be true.

When he got into the car, he of course was told he was being recruited for a movie role. Can you imagine? That’s Black Widow, man? Duh! She’s only the most successful actresses in the world. Either way this is a crazy story about the behind-the-scenes of Under the Skin and certainly calls for a second-viewing after learning this about it.

You can see Scarlett Johansson next in Avengers: Endgame starting April 26.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.