Scarlett Johansson says she was 'hypersexualised' early in her career because everyone thought she was older
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Hollywood actor Scarlett Johansson has revealed she felt 'hypersexualised' early in her acting career.
The Black Widow star began appearing on the screen from an early age, having been just nine years old when she starred in her first movie North in 1994.
Now the 37-year-old has revealed that many thought she was much older than she was when she made her acting debut.
Speaking on on Dax Shepard's Armchair Expert podcast, Johansson explained: "I kind of became objectified and pigeonholed in this way where I felt like I wasn't getting offers for work for things that I wanted to do.
"But I remember thinking to myself, I was like, ‘I think people think I'm, like, 40 years old.' It somehow stopped being something that was desirable and something that I was fighting against."
At age 17, she was cast in the 2003 film Lost in Translation, playing a character that was five years her senior.
She continued: "I think everybody thought I was older and then I've been doing it for a long time, and I got kind of pigeonholed into this weird, hypersexualised thing, I felt like it was over, kind of.
"It was like, that's the kind of career you have. These are the roles you've played, and I was like, ‘This is it?'"
In the same podcast interview, the star also revealed that she feels more needs to be done to protect younger actors from being preyed on by powerful people. She addressed the #MeToo scandal, which began in 2017 and uncovered overwhelming amount of harassment and assault that was particularly rife in Hollywood and the acting industry.
Johansson explained: "I've come to this realisation that it's important to understand progress and change when it's really meaningful—it takes two steps forward and two steps back, and then it gets better and then it gets worse.
"It's not finite. I think if you don't leave room for people to figure it out, then the actual progressive change doesn't really happen."
Last year saw Johansson file a lawsuit against Disney for allegedly breaching the terms of her contract by releasing Black Widow simultaneously in cinemas and on Disney+, arguably leading her to miss out on box office bonuses had it not gone to streaming straight away.
However, the two parties ended up reaching a ‘mutual agreement’, and the lawsuit was ultimately settled.
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