Scarlett Johansson Says She Was “Pigeonholed” Into “Hypersexualized” Roles

And explains how she was "objectified" as a young actress.

Scarlett Johansson opened up about the beginnings of her career, saying that she was somehow "pigeonholed" into certain roles because of the way she looked. She explained the situation during an appearance on Dax Shepard’s podcast, Armchair Expert, saying that in 2003, when she was just 17 years old, she was cast to play a character five years older than that for Lost in Translation

"I think everybody thought I was older," she said. "I got kind of pigeonholed into this weird, hypersexualized thing [...] 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?'"

She went on to say that the typecasting kept her from getting roles that she really wanted. She looked older, she told Shepard, and she kept getting roles for characters that skewed older. Eventually, she started to focus on breaking the pattern.

Scarlett Johansson Sing Premiere

Getty Images

"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," she said. "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."

She finished on a hopeful note, saying that she already sees change happening in Hollywood, citing the careers of both Zendaya and Florence Pugh.

"I've come to this realization that it’s important to understand progress and change when it's really meaningful," she said. "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."

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