Scarlett Johansson is an actress, singer, activist, and professional controversy stirrer. Her greatest hits include: comparing playing a trans person to playing a tree, taking a whitewashed Asian role, and insisting Woody Allen is innocent cuz he told her so. Now she’s talking about those wild choices in an interview with The Gentlewoman, a UK magazine. ScarJo jokes that she’s made a career out of controversy and it’s been embarrassing, but she’s only human (a human who can play a tree, FYI).
via The Gentlewoman:
But Scarlett has also found herself at the centre of storms provoked by some of her more uncompromising positions. “Yeah,” she says drily about her apparent attraction to controversy, “I’ve made a career out of it.”
The article says that Scarlett “seems a little weary” when she looks back on her public dramatics, but she’s clearly put herself through “a process of self-interrogation.” Because extremely famous, wealthy hotties surrounded by sycophants are great at reflecting on their mistakes:
“I’m going to have opinions about things, because that’s just who I am.” But equally, she knows that sometimes she has simply made the wrong call. “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.” She sighs, shrugs. “I’m also a person.”
ScarJo says she’s trying to learn when to say things and when to recognize that “it’s not your turn to speak.” She says that being reactive and impatient “doesn’t mix that great with self-awareness.” But she adds that she doesn’t think actors should have obligations to have a public role in society. Even though, as an A-list celebrity who shares her opinion in interviews, she has 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. You didn’t choose to be a politician, you’re an actor.”
Scarlett says she doesn’t use social media. She thinks it “creates this unrealistic sort of sense of ego”. But she’s well aware that people shit-talk her online:
“Of course, whatever you say, whether it’s politically correct or not, any statement you make, or how you live your life, people are obviously going to take issue with it. We judge each other all the time. We judge ourselves constantly. I think people equate that connectivity to being self-aware. To me, it’s different from being self-aware. And reacting to everything that’s coming at them through this fucking thing” – she holds up her pink-covered iPhone like it’s a weapon, an expression of undiluted antipathy on her face – “your sense of reality is completely skewed. It’s not normal to be that exposed. You can be exposed whenever you’re in the public eye, but to then be on the receiving end, like a raw nerve, of all this stuff back? It’s too much!”
Now, this isn’t the first time Scarlett’s addressed her controversies. She used that same “I’m not a politician” line in a 2019 Vanity Fair interview, where she also doubled down on her belief that Woody Allen was innocent. I’d tell her to watch the HBO documentary Allen Vs Farrow, but we all know she immediately took Woody’s word when he claimed it was a “hatchet job riddled with falsehoods.” Nawww, ScarJo will stick to the Judi Dench doc about trees.