“Don Jon” writer-director-star Joseph Gordon-Levitt says he wanted Scarlett Johansson as his co-star in part because she herself has been a victim of a certain amount of objectification within pop culture. But while Johansson is happy for the implied compliment, she doesn’t think she’s all that special.
“I think that sure, I’ve been a victim — if you want to say — of that as much as anybody else. I don’t feel particularly affected by that more so than any other person in the spotlight, I guess,” she says. “But I think it’s something that I’ve used — my own status as a sexiest whatever-you-want-to-call-it or whatever it is, a label you want to put on it — I’ve been able to use to my advantage while trying to avoid getting pigeonholed as much as possible. I don’t want the work that I do to feel like a reaction to the fact that I’m trying to get away from that.”
Speaking of getting away from that, Johansson keeps away from the vast swaths of Internet devoted to her beauty and private life. “I stopped Googling myself,” she admits. “Nothing good ever comes out of it. It’s best to avoid it. Gives you an inflated idea of yourself, as well. You suddenly feel like everybody’s paying attention to you all the time.” Of course, in her case she might be right — even if the idea still strikes her as odd.
“The other thing is, why do you care? You don’t know me,” she says. “It always makes me wonder why anybody cares. I don’t particularly care to know about [any person she doesn’t know]’s romantic life. I mean, I guess we’re all nosy in some way, but it’s something that seems unrelated in my mind. I mean, I know people like celebrities, and maybe that gives them something to dream about, I don’t know.”
That’s not to say Johansson wants any of that content eradicated — or even regulated in any way. “There are no rules, that’s the Internet. There’s no rules. You can’t impose them; then we’d be living in China,” she says. “If you want to have a free country or whatever, you can’t impose any regulations on the Internet. Anyway, it’s impossible. Again, unless you’re living in a country that has a restricted access, and then who’s to say exactly what should and shouldn’t be regulated? It’s an impossible task.”
While pal Joseph Gordon-Levitt might have beat her to the director’s chair with “Don Jon,” Scarlett Johansson won’t be far behind. “I’m actually directing a film next summer, which is an adapatation of a [Truman] Capote novella called ‘Summer Crossing,'” she says. “It’s something I’ve been working on for what feels like forever. It’s been about six years, and we’re finally going to do it.”