Scarlett Johansson On Transforming Into A 1950s Movie Icon For Wes Anderson’s ‘Asteroid City’

Scarlett Johansson and Jason Schwartzman’s anticipated new movie is a total blast from the past!

The acclaimed actors sat with Access Hollywood recently to discuss their time filming director Wes Anderson’s “Asteroid City” and why the 1950s-set film was not only a fun experience but so creatively fulfilling.

“The film has this existential quality to it. And so I think there is a little bit of that kind of stream-of-consciousness feeling, which I think is why it has, what you’re describing as this genre-blending feeling about it. The work that we were doing feels very grounded in the reality of the characters that we’re playing and what we’re doing in that moment,” Scarlett said.

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The Oscar nominee portrays a famous screen siren and told Access what she loved about the character’s demeanor and intense personality.

“I loved playing Midge, because she is very confident, she’s had this illustrious career and she’s used to being the center of attention and so she’s totally comfortable being absolutely herself in the moment or whoever she wants to be or whatever character she feels like presenting and taking time and OK with all those long pauses and moments just to be observed,” she said.

Adding with a smile, “I mean, it’s fun to play someone that’s that self-absorbed and possibly sociopathic.”

The 38-year-old mom of two also noted that her dark updo for the movie evokes the looks of timeless movie legends Jane Russell and Rosalind Russell, and perhaps a brunette Lucille Ball, and Jason noted what a treat it was to see Scarlett embody the role so well.

Jason and Scarlett teamed up with Wes and castmates including Bryan Cranston and Tom Hanks for the “Asteroid City” Cannes Film Festival premiere in recent weeks, and Scarlett reacted to the attention her fashion-forward Prada gown got and how she had other priorities in mind.

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“I just knew I didn’t want to wear something with a long, billowy train. I was like, ‘I can’t have Jason stepping on my train all night. It’s gonna drive me nuts,'” she teased.

When it came to revisiting her very first major Hollywood event at age 11, Scarlett pointed out how much not only her style but also the red carpet has evolved.

“That’s a parking lot. So it definitely was of another era,” she said, upon looking at a photo of herself at the 1997 Independent Spirit Awards.

Though a young Scarlett looked adorable in her yellow gown, the Marvel superstar said she hadn’t held on to the dress for any sentimental reason.

“Definitely not that one,” Scarlett joked, when asked if she was saving any of her past looks for her daughter, Rose. “That was immediately, probably, like given to Goodwill.”

“Asteroid City” hits select theaters on June 16 and opens wide June 23.

— Erin Biglow

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