It’s quite humbling to witness a prominent Hollywood celebrity walking past a budget shopping center like Primark. Especially if the star in question is none other than Scarlett Johansson, who has been crowned Esquire’s “Sexiest Woman Alive” twice, won a BAFTA award, and is renowned for her beauty. In her latest film, however, Johansson can be seen wearing a pair of stonewashed jeans and a faux fur coat, casually strolling down a busy shopping street in Glasgow, looking just like an ordinary person. It’s fascinating to see how stripping a celebrity off their glamourous attire and taking them away from their posh mansions can make them seem like one of us.
But Johansson is different. In the film Under the Skin, which is an adaptation of Michel Faber’s novel and a low-budget sci-fi indie, we know that her character is an alien. Watching her roam around Glasgow’s outskirts, scouring for fresh prey, gives us a peculiar sense of two distinct universes colliding. We see Johansson ride a bus, ask for directions to Asda, and sit in front of an electric fire in a council house watching Tommy Cooper on TV. All of this makes it apparent that while she may look ordinary, she’s still Scarlett Johansson.
Discovering what happens when a major Hollywood celebrity is placed in a working-class environment in Scotland is akin to an extraterrestrial landing. Although celebrities have yet to become a separate race, there is something unsettling about seeing a famous face from countless red-carpet events walking along a normal street filled with average people. Despite this, Scarlett Johansson, who is now back in her glamorous Hollywood lifestyle, looks anything but ordinary. Her stunning appearance, complete with high heels, a silky top, and perfectly groomed hair, has her surrounded by a team of publicists and assistants. Recently, she spoke about the British director of her latest film, Jonathan Glazer, whom she considers a “visionary” and a “genius.” During a press conference, reporters discussed the relativity of time, a refreshing change from the typical inquiries about personal preferences.
Scarlett Johansson took on the role of an alien in the film Under the Skin, directed by Jonathan Glazer. Despite only having three lines of dialogue and spending most of the film standing around in wet boots and a too-thin coat, Johansson found the challenge of playing a non-judgmental character without any emotional ties appealing. She spent several years working with Glazer on the project, which featured many non-actors who were filmed while going about their daily business. Critics had mixed reviews of the film, but Johansson appreciated the extreme reactions rather than tepid responses. The film can be interpreted as a parable for the Hollywood star system, with Johansson’s character feeding off mortals like us but also being shut out from their world. While her role in Under the Skin was limited, her performance in Her demonstrated her abilities as a full-bodied character actor.
Scarlett Johansson was recently embroiled in two controversies, one involving her support for Woody Allen, and the other concerning her decision to become a brand ambassador for SodaStream. She criticized the film industry for remaining silent on abuse allegations against Woody Allen, but also stated that it was irresponsible to throw actors’ names into such a situation. Regarding SodaStream, she still stands behind her decision despite being criticized by Oxfam for supporting a company that operates in a settlement on the West Bank. Johansson believes that the factory is a model for progress in a difficult situation, and feels that it is not right for a non-governmental organization like Oxfam to support a political cause. The interview ends abruptly, but it serves as a reminder of the power dynamics between celebrities and ordinary people.