Photo Credit: Daniel McFadden
Scarlett Johansson is a Hollywood A-lister idealized as the embodiment of beauty, talent and success. Looking at the actress, we’ve been trained to think: I want what she has.
But that's setting a ridiculously high bar for ourselves, right? Well, the actress agrees -- Scarlett Johansson, The Real-Life Person isn't as magically perfect as Scarlett Johansson, Movie Star. She even admits that she often feels held to an impossible standard. "It's kind of placed on you -- that you are this unattainable object," the actress tells iVillage exclusively.
That's a major theme in Johansson's new film, the smart romantic comedy Don Jon. Written and directed by her co-star, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the film questions the role media and pop culture play in shaping our ideas of perfection -- and our ideals of "perfect love" in particular. Gordon-Levitt's character Jon has a skewed idea of women, thanks to his addiction to porn. Johansson's Barbara thinks her man should be her knight in shining armor because she watches too many rom-coms. Neither can live up to the other's impossible expectations.
Of course, no one is infallible -- not even the celebrities who appear to us as so god-like. Turns out, not even Johansson can compete with your ScarJo fantasies, something she learned first-hand.
"I remember an ex-boyfriend of mine, I was meeting his mother for the first time," Johansson tells us. "And right when I said, 'Oh, hi -- nice to meet you, she said, 'Wow, you're a real person!'"
The actress was caught off-guard, to say the least. "I thought that was so, well, strange," she says. "But it was interesting. The more I thought about it, the more I thought, man -- obviously she would have that feeling. It's a natural thing. She sees me in this golden light, but here I am and here we are connecting with each other."
As Don Jon explores fantasy versus reality, one lesson becomes clear: You can't buy into the hype. Johansson says that's the only way to hold onto anything real -- especially in Hollywood.
"You just have to let [celebrity culture] not put pressure on you," she says. "You have to not believe that yourself, and that keeps you grounded."
Don Jon opens Sept. 27 in theaters nationwide.