Scarlett Johansson Cried and Admitted She Felt ‘Vulnerable’ in This Interview, but It’s Not What You Think

In her acting career, Scarlett Johansson has shown incredible range. She has portrayed everything from historical figures to a butt-kicking Marvel superhero. But in one interview, she got in touch with her emotional side by shedding a few tears. It wasn’t quite what you might think, however. Here’s the story of what made Johansson tear up and admit to feeling “vulnerable.” 

Scarlett Johansson has starred in big hits during her career

Scarlett Johansson attends the 'Marriage Story' Los Angeles Premiere at the Directors Guild on November 5, 2019, in Los Angeles, California
Scarlett Johansson | Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix

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The word that best describes Scarlett Johansson as a performer is “versatile.” She first garnered major attention and a BAFTA Award for her role in 2003’s Lost in Translation. Sofia Coppola’s Oscar-winning comedy-melodrama followed a young American woman (Johansson) and an older American actor (Bill Murray) as they developed a deep emotional connection in Japan. Since then, Johansson has delivered a string of captivating performances. 

She continues to act in a wide range of films, her IMDb profile shows, but she’s known best for portraying Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Though her character doesn’t have any superpowers per se, she’s a highly trained spy well-versed in various fighting styles. Johansson debuted as the character in Iron Man 2 and became a vital part of the Avengers and Captain America films. 

She’ll also play the title role in the standalone movie Black Widow, due out this spring. Though the film was originally slated to premiere last year, the pandemic forced Disney to push back its release to May 2021. Marvel fans are undoubtedly excited to see Johansson star in her own film after supporting an ensemble cast in many other Marvel superhero movies. 

In fact, she was interviewing to promote one of the many Marvel films when she became visibly emotional. But her tears had nothing to do with a personal experience or a role she had played. It had to do with something that was a bit funnier than either of those. 

Scarlett Johansson’s appearance on ‘Hot Ones’

In 2019, Johansson appeared on the popular web series Hot Ones, posted on the First We Feast YouTube channel. She was there to discuss her career and the upcoming Avengers: Endgame.

The premise of Hot Ones is devastatingly simple and effective. Celebrities come on the show to chat with the host while enjoying chicken wings. But these wings aren’t just any wings. Doused in various kinds of hot sauce, they’re designed to get progressively spicier until they become almost impossible to tolerate. The celebrities then must see how much heat they can withstand before breaking.

The show has made for plenty of meme-worthy and hilarious reactions. Stars who’ve appeared on the show, from Idris Elba to Paul Rudd, have been honored with memes capturing their reactions. 

What made her cry in this interview

Johansson sat down with cool-as-a-cucumber host Scott Evans on Hot Ones and attempted to endure an onslaught of searing-hot sauce. Her reaction was hilarious. She dropped multiple F-bombs while also commenting on how “vulnerable” she felt. She also became introspective after Evans gave her an inspirational pep talk: 

Evans: “If you can handle this hot sauce, there’s no hot sauce in the world that can stop you, Scarlett Johansson.”

Johansson: “Is that true? I’m gonna cry. And it’s not just the sauce.”

‘Hot Ones’

By the end of the interview, Johansson had eaten 10 hot wings, the last of which was rated at over 2 million Scoville units. For those who aren’t hot-sauce connoiseurs, that rating means the wings were scorching. Through tears, she said that although she was feeling broken down from the Endgame promotional tour, the hot-sauce gauntlet might’ve been “the straw that broke the camel’s back.” Johansson appeared to be on the cusp of a breakdown. But more likely than not, she was simply tired and a little relieved to finish the tour. 

Johansson proved to be a hot-sauce superhero in finishing both the interview and the wings.