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Scarlett Johansson says she felt being “hypersexualized” at a young age threatened her career

Scarlett Johansson is getting candid about her career in Hollywood.

As a guest on Dax Shepard‘s Armchair Expert podcast, the Marvel movie veteran opened up about being “hypersexualized” as a young actress.

Johansson said, “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 and I remember thinking to myself, ‘I think people think I’m 40 years old.’ It somehow stopped being something that was desirable and something I was fighting against.”

The Academy Award-nominated JoJo Rabbit actress made her film debut at 9 years old in Rob Reiner‘s 1994 film, North.

At 17, she starred alongside Bill Murray in Sofia Coppola‘s Oscar-nominated Lost in Translation, playing a character who was five years older than she was at the time.

Johansson said, “I think everybody thought I was older and I had been doing it for a long time, I [was] kind of pigeonholed into this weird hypersexualized thing. I felt like it was over kind of — like that’s the kind of career you’ve had, these are the kind of roles played, and I was like, this is it.”

ScarJo added, “So it was scary at that time…And I attributed it to the fact that people thought I was much, much older than I was.”

Johansson said actresses now aren’t pigeonholed in the same way she felt she was when she was younger. “Now, I see younger actors that are in their 20s. It feels like they’re allowed to be all these different things,” she said. “It’s another tie, too. We’re not even allowed to really pigeonhole other actors anymore, thankfully, right? People are much more dynamic.”

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