The 38-year-old “Black Widow” star made the remarks during a recent interview on the iHeartRadio podcast “Table for Two.” She told host Bruce Bozzi that she had been “objectified” by Hollywood early in her acting career and was offered roles that matched their perception of her as a sex symbol.
“I kind of became, like, an ingénue,” Johansson recalled of her early career. “Young girls like that are really objectified, and that’s just a fact, so I think whatever box they’re put into, it sort of sets you on this trajectory for how your life will go. Now, obviously women really are able more now to choose their own path.”
She recalled how during her early teens, she started to embrace her own “desirability and sexuality,” which influenced her entire career, per Page Six.
“I think because of that trajectory that I had been sort of launched towards, I really got stuck in this,” Johansson explained.
“I was kind of being groomed in a way to be this what you call this bombshell type of actor. I was playing the other woman and this object of desire and, you know, I suddenly found myself cornered in this place, like, I couldn’t get out of it.”
She went on, “I think for that kind of bombshell [role] that burns bright and quick, and then you don’t have much opportunity beyond that, and I just felt like I was burning out so quickly.”
The actress said working on “Lost in Translation” with Bill Murray when she was just 17 was a particularly challenging time.
“Our characters have this … profound relationship and that was hard for me … I struggled with that for different reasons,” she said of the role. “When I came out of it, it was like this weird fever dream.”
The “Lucy” star said time and experience had changed her perspective and that having kids has made her more discerning with the kind of movie roles she’s willing to accept.
“I think that’s an important lesson to teach girls and boys — to pursue work that is satisfying,” she said of her current outlook.
Johansson had previously complained about being sexualized in her role in “Black Widow.”
“All of that is related to that move away from the kind of hyper-sexualization of this character and, I mean, you look back at ‘Iron Man 2’ and while it was really fun and had a lot of great moments in it, the character is so sexualized, you know?” she said, per The Daily Wire.
“Really talked about like she’s a piece of something, like a possession or a thing or whatever — like a piece of a**, really.”