Scarlett Johansson Recalls ‘Weird’ Screen Test for ‘Gravity’: ‘I Was Just Sitting in a Chair with a Helmet on’

Scarlett Johansson couldn’t get her audition for Alfonso Cuarón’s “Gravity” off the ground.

The “Under the Skin” star told Entertainment Tonight about doing a screen test for Cuarón’s Oscar-winning 2013 film that eventually starred Sandra Bullock as an astronaut whose space shuttle is destroyed.

Johansson revealed that she has “done a lot of weird screen tests” and cited “Gravity” as one of them.

“I did a screen test for the movie ‘Gravity,’ that Sandra Bullock is fantastic in, but I had to be in, like, the full whole space suit thing, and sort of pretend I was kind of like floating in space,” Johansson said, “even though I was just sitting in a chair with a helmet on.”

The “Asteroid City” actress recently told Variety that she felt “hopeless” after losing out on “Gravity” amid a slew of “unfulfilling” roles.

“I got turned down for two roles — the first was ‘Iron Man 2’ and then the other one was Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘Gravity,’” Johansson said. “I had wanted that role so much. It was sort of the straw that broke the camel’s back. I felt really frustrated and hopeless. Like, ‘Am I doing the right job?’”

She continued, “The work I was being offered felt deeply unfulfilling. I think I was offered every Marilyn Monroe script ever. I was like, ‘Is this the end of the road creatively?’”

The star admitted it was “hard to get out of that pigeonhole” of playing an onscreen bombshell. “And I did films like ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ and movies that kind of continued that narrative,” Johansson said. “I couldn’t make any headway.”

Spike Jonze’s “Her” helped “reignite” Johansson’s “passion” for acting. “Suddenly it was like, ‘I still love this job,’” she said. “I felt less anxious.”

Johansson started her career with breakout roles in “Lost in Translation” and “Girl With the Pearl Earring” around age 19.

“I was coming into my own womanhood and learning my own desirability and sexuality,” Johansson said. “I was kind of being groomed, in a way, to be this what you call a bombshell-type actor. I was playing the other woman and the object of desire and I suddenly found myself cornered in this place. I couldn’t get out of it.”

She continued, “It would be easy to sit across from someone in that situation and go, ‘This is working.’ But for that kind of bombshell, you know, that burns bright and quick and then it’s done and you don’t have opportunity beyond that. It was an interesting, weird conundrum to be in but it really came back to working at it and trying to carve a place in different projects and work in great ensembles.”

At the premiere of “Asteroid City” in New York on Tuesday evening, director Wes Anderson praised Johansson as a “great movie star playing a good one,” referring to her character Midge Campbell, a middling actress stranded in a California desert town during a quarantine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *