Scarlett Johansson reveals the huge roles she’s lost out on

Scarlett Johansson greets fans at the Japan World Premiere of the movie Ghost In The Shell.
Scarlett Johansson greets fans at the Japan World Premiere of the movie Ghost In The Shell. Jun Sato

SHE'S officially the highest-grossing film actress of all time thanks to her roles in a series of bankable superhero flicks - but Scarlett Johansson's career hasn't always been an easy ride.

The 32-year-old star, who made her film debut at the age of nine, has lost out on her fair share of big roles over the course of her career, from beloved family films to Oscar-winning musicals.

The actress reflects on a career littered with near-misses in a revealing new interview with Howard Stern, admitting that she usually makes a point of watching the films she's missed out on.

The Hollywood rejection started when Johansson was a child actress, missing out on roles in Jumanji (1995) and The Parent Trap (1998) that went to Kirsten Dunst and Lindsay Lohan respectively.

"I saw Jumanji. I liked it. I wasn't bitter enough then, now I'm bitter," she joked. By the time she lost out on The Parent Trap three years later, "I started to get bitter ... it was hard for me."

Becoming an A-list star hasn't made Johansson immune from rejection, though: She unsuccessfully auditioned for Anne Hathaway's Oscar-winning role in the 2012 big screen adaptation of Les Miseables.

Anne Hathaway in a scene from Les Miserables.
Anne Hathaway in a scene from Les Miserables.

"I auditioned and I had laryngitis … but I tried. I don't know if that's why I didn't get it, I probably wasn't right for it," she revealed.

Stern asked her about the rumour that she'd been knocked back for the titular role in 2011 film The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo because she was 'too beautiful' for the part.

"Well, that's not exactly how it went. What happened was, I remember having conversations with [director David] Fincher and he said, 'You have to look like you're totally uncaring of yourself, deprived … you're fragile …' I said, 'I will, I can be this person!' And he said 'No, you can't'."

"I really, really wanted that film because I felt I had something to contribute to it, but Fincher had a different vision for the character - and Rooney Mara's so perfect in it."

And as it turns out, landing a role isn't always a blessing. Arguably Johansson's big Hollywood breakthrough, in the 2003 cult hit Lost in Translation, saw her acting alongside comedy legend Bill Murray - an experience she now admits was difficult.

Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray in a scene from the film Lost In Translation.
Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray in a scene from the film Lost In Translation.

"I grew up worshipping him and I was so excited to work with him. I think we just … it was hard. It was a hard shoot for me. I was 17 years old … he's a comedian, he's quirky, and he had a lot of ups and downs. I was more introspective, I guess."

She revealed she felt somewhat invisible working alongside such a Hollywood icon.

"That's what was isolating about it, that everyone was so deferential [to him]. It was hard to relate to one another. But when the cameras rolled, we worked really well together."

Johansson currently stars in Ghost in the Shell, which opens in cinemas tomorrow.

Topics:  movies scarlett johansson

News Corp Australia

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Country Club becomes the centre of power

GENERATION: Nationals Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy Ben Franklin, presenting the funding to the Club - General Manager Andrew Spice, Golf Director Ian Wingad, Chairman Peter Tomaros, Treasurer Anne Slater, and Director Tony Dahl.

Grant to Shore emergency centre

An evening of Muslim Sufi music with Tahir Qawwal

LOCAL: Canadian-born Tahir Qawwal.

Qawwali is a form of Sufi devotional music from Pakistan and India

Beauty and the Beast as a ballet

TROUPE: Dancers Elise Jacques and William Douglas.

By the Victorian State Ballet

Local Partners