How Scarlett Johansson Felt ‘Stuck’ Playing Provocative Roles Despite Being Typecast as ‘Black Widow’ Star

In her early years as an actress, Scarlett Johansson often found herself playing the part of the attractive and alluring woman, which became somewhat of a stereotype for her. She has since expressed feeling restricted and limited by these seductive roles.

In Tinseltown, a star’s potential success is often measured by how well they fit into certain character types. This practice, known as typecasting, can be limiting and frustrating for actors who have proven themselves to be capable of playing a variety of roles. Although male actors may be relegated to playing villains or action heroes, female actors are often pigeonholed into overtly sexualized or neurotic characters, which can be discouraging.

According to a recent interview, Scarlett Johansson expressed feeling “stuck” due to being typecast in provocative roles throughout her career. She has played many sexy characters in her past performances.

Johansson has been in the entertainment industry since the early 1990s, but it was not until the mid-2000s that she gained widespread recognition. Her career has been nothing short of impressive, and as one of the highest-grossing box office stars ever, her achievements speak for themselves. However, upon reviewing her body of work, it is clear that she has often played roles that require some degree of sex appeal. Take, for example, her performance in Ghost in The Shell, where she portrayed a Japanese character who spent much of the film in revealing clothing. While the movie deviated significantly from its original anime and manga versions, Johansson’s sex appeal was undoubtedly one of its most significant selling points. In Don Jon, the entire premise revolves around Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character’s quest to sleep with the “perfect ten,” Barbara, played by Johansson. Similarly, in He’s Just Not That Into You, her character falls for Brad Cooper’s character, who only dates her because she is an attractive young yoga instructor.

The movie Lost in Translation starts with a captivating shot of the actress lying in her bed wearing only her underwear. This was Scarlett Johansson’s debut film with Woody Allen, and she played the role of a seductive femme fatale who ensnared two men simultaneously. In an interview with Total Film in 2005, Allen revealed that Johansson had expressed feeling limited by constantly being cast in such sexy roles.

During an appearance on the Table for Two podcast, Johansson shared that she was “groomed” to take on roles that required her to play sexy characters. She explained that throughout her career, she was constantly cast as either “the other woman” or the “object of desire,” which ultimately put her in a box and limited her career trajectory. Despite realizing that she was being pigeonholed as she got older, Johansson felt helpless in trying to break free from this pattern. She recalled, “I kind of became an ingénue … I think because of that trajectory that I had been sort of launched towards, I really got stuck in this … I was kind of being groomed in a way to be what you call this bombshell actor.”

During an interview, Johansson revealed that working with Bill Murray on Lost in Translation made her feel uneasy. She didn’t delve into the specifics but mentioned that their characters had a significant relationship, making it difficult for her to portray the role due to various reasons. After completing the shoot, Johansson felt like she was in a strange dream-like state.

Angelina Jolie has come a long way since her breakthrough role in Hackers and Tomb Raider franchise. However, she is often typecast as a seductive, self-assured femme fatale who enjoys blowing things up and shooting at people or objects. Whether it’s Wanted, Salt, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, or Lara Croft, Jolie tends to play similar roles.

On the other hand, Keira Knightley doesn’t usually play sultry characters in her films, but she excels as a period piece heroine. With her appearances in Atonement, The Duchess, Anna Karenina, and notably Pride and Prejudice, Knightley loves portraying fierce heroines donning corsets.

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