Scarlett Johansson says that giving political opinions is not an actor’s job, shortly before stating President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory “felt like the end of a war.”
In a recent interview with The Gentlewoman, Johansson said that she has been trying to recognize “when it’s not your turn to speak,” adding that she believes actors do not have a particular responsibility to make political statements just because they are in the spotlight.
“I don’t think actors have obligations to have a public role in society,” the actress told the British magazine. “Some people want to, but the idea that you’re obligated to because you’re in the public eye is unfair. You didn’t choose to be a politician, you’re an actor. Your job is to reflect our experience to ourselves; your job is to be a mirror for an audience, to be able to have an empathetic experience through art. That is what your job is.”
“Whatever my political views are, all that stuff, I feel most successful when people can sit in a theatre or at home and disappear into a story or a performance and see pieces of themselves, or are able to connect with themselves through this experience of watching this performance or story or interaction between actors or whatever it is,” Johansson added. “And they’re affected by it and they’re thinking about it, and they feel something. You know? They have an emotional reaction to it — good, bad, uncomfortable, validating, whatever. That’s my job. The other stuff is not my job.”
One way the actress limits her public persona is by having zero presence on social media, the magazine notes.
“It creates this unrealistic sort of sense of ego,” Johansson said of social media.
At another point during the interview, Johansson said she was in New York when Biden’s victory was announced, adding that the moment “felt like the end of a war.”
“You could hear people losing their minds outside, and I just cried. It was a pretty crazy reaction. Oh my God, it’s over. It felt like the end of a war, you know?” she said.
“I said to Colin [Jost], it feels like when your life is falling apart and an older person, your parent’s friend or your uncle, is like, ‘It’s going to be OK.’ And you’re like, ‘Aaargh!’” the actress added.
Johansson has previously spoken about the political arena on several occasions.
Last year, Johansson teamed up with her Avengers co-stars Chris Evans and Mark Ruffalo for a Biden fundraiser. The actress has also revealed she would be open to running for public office in the future.
Last month, Johansson pressured Biden to shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline.