Scarlett Johansson Was Convinced Audiences Wanted She Switched From Movies to Stage Plays
Scarlett Johansson has been interested in doing stage work as well as movies over the course of her acting career. But her first foray into theater work was particularly difficult since she was convinced audiences were actively rooting for her downfall.
Scarlett Johansson felt audiences were against her when she did ‘A View From the Bridge’
Johansson ventured into the world of Broadway when she did the Arthur Miller play A View From the Bridge. She co-starred alongside Liev Schrieber in the project, and was drawn to the project because of how different the experience was from acting.
“I love film and acting for the camera,” Johansson once told The New York Times. “But the idea of working on something that you owned every night was so appealing. In some sense in film your performance doesn’t really belong to you. It belongs to the director and the editor and the producers. Onstage what the audience saw was everything you had, not some reshaped version of it.”
Still, perhaps the most difficult part about doing the feature became audience’s expectations.
“When I did A View from the Bridge, I was convinced that people wanted me to fail. I was really nervous,” she said in a 2015 interview with Parade.
Fortunately, the actor received words of comfort from her co-star Liev Schrieber on the issue.
“I remember Liev saying to me, ‘[An actor] always thinks the audience is against you. But for the audience this is a night out on the town, a Broadway show. They want to be carried away. They’re rooting for you. They want you to succeed.’ He’s right. It totally changed my experience of stepping out on stage. Suddenly, it felt like it was a whole room of people who wanted to be moved. It’s such an amazing feeling,” Johansson recalled.
It’s worth noting that Johansson did anything but fail in the role. She was successful enough to earn herself a Tony Award for her performance.
What Scarlett Johansson thought about returning to Broadway
It seemed that Johansson enjoyed her time performing on stage well enough. The Marvel star found a level of collaboration doing A View From the Bridge that was missing from regular film projects.
“I have to say that the kind of support and encouragement and creative critique and just, like, the wellspring of ideas and artistic juices a terrible term but it’s true that you get working in the rehearsal room and then onstage night after night was incredible,” she said. “I’ve never had that experience. I’ve had wonderful work relationships on film, but the kind of family you form and the elements that spring from that really touched me.”
Johansson enjoyed her time on stage so much that she looked forward to returning to Broadway again someday.
“I feel at home there. I love it! Your relationship with a live audience is very different than your relationship with the movie camera. It used to be even more so when we used actual film. Then the actors could hear the film running through the camera. It felt like a living organism is witnessing what you’re doing. But we don’t have that anymore,” she said.
What Scarlett Johansson would never do on stage
Delving further into her stage experience in a Broadway World, Johansson revealed that she could never see herself doing a musical. Even though she dabbled in singing a few times in her career, Johansson doubted she could transfer her passion for music to theater.
“You know, it was a childhood dream of mine. I look at actors – this whole season I’ve been very fortunate to be in New York and see a lot of the shows this season – I am just constantly blown away when I see incredibly talented actors, singers, dancers. That kind of triple-threat. I’ve never trained that hard, I’ve never trained that way. I think it’s just a gift that is something I can only admire from afar,” she said.