Interview Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett talks about The Spirit from director Frank Miller

Currently filming Mary Queen Of Scots here in Ireland, Scarlett Johansson pops up as Silken Floss this weekend in The Spirit. The film directed and written by Frank Miller is an adaptation of the newspaper comic book supplement of the same name created by Will Eisner.

Were you lured into this movie because you’re turned on by the genre?
Scarlett Johansson: I’m not really a comic book fan. The world always just felt so excluding to me. What brought me to this project, was Frank. I loved Sin City, and I loved 300. And I just thought, he must be a pretty interesting fellow! So I got the script, but there really wasn’t any part for me. You know, the Silken Floss character was kind of underwritten.

But I so wanted to meet Frank. So we met, and we had a really wonderful three hour lunch meeting. And just talked about New York, and laughed, and had a great time. And at the end of it I was like, well I’m sad that there’s nothing for me to do. And he told me, I’ll think of something!

So I got super super lucky, because he decided to expand this character. And that was really it for me. I felt like being part of his vision would just be fun, a fun world to play around in. So…

I hear Frank has a glowing opinion of you comedically , that you’re a young Lucille Ball.
SJ: Thanks! But it’s funny that you mentioned Lucille Ball, because I love those situation comedies.

You play a brainy character with mixed motivations, but what about just the fact that you’re fabulous eye candy up on the screen here?
SJ: That’s not such a bad thing! You know?

So do you basically feel, if you’ve got it, flaunt it?
SJ: Well, in what capacity, exactly? I mean, in my everyday life! Like what are you asking me?

Maybe that, but especially in this movie.
SJ: My character, she knows what she’s offering to The Octopus. And that’s part of her appeal. Because she’s, you know, this giant brain who…looks fantastic in a short skirt! And so in her mind, it’s just another way that she can do what she does. I mean, she lures The Spirit into their den. And it’s very convenient for them.

What about that time period?
SJ: Yeah. I’ve enjoyed The Third Man, The Maltese Falcon and White Heat. There were so many wonderful movies about that time, and I can’t list them all. But the truth is that I feel the noir qualities of this film are really great stylistic choices. And which we owe to film noir style.

What did you figure out about Silken Floss?
SJ: My character, I think, these are her humble beginnings I feel, in a way. And she’s a medical, scientific mind. And I think that she’s using this experience as a great opportunity to kind of expand her schooling, in a way. And she’s working for someone who has like this huge plethora of wealth and equipment. And these grand ideas.

And so for her to actually carry out this man‘s plans, and put to paper all of his crazy ideas, I think is just an experiment for her. And as she says at the end of the film, she’s moving on up. And who knows what she’ll do.

How about those costumes, and that Nazi look of your too?
SJ: All of my costumes obviously directly correlated with Sam’s costumes. And I’d see Sam’s costumes and say, what does mine look like? Oh, yours looks like this. And they were always a quarter of the size of Sam’s! But I love that fabulous, Golden Age of Hollywood look ,mid-forties, whatever. You know, that beautiful look.

Which one was your favorite?
SJ: I love my geisha costume, just because…it’s a geisha costume! You know? Why not.

Have you ever had a boss from hell like Sam’s Octopus, and his numbskull henchmen?
SJ: Well, I’ve never done anything, than be an actress. So I’m afraid if I do answer that question, I’ll be, you know…blacklisted!

The Spirit is now showing at Irish cinemas everywhere