The bold, fearless performances of Scarlett Johansson, marked by her readiness to expose herself in roles that demand authenticity, have always been the talk of the town.
She is admired for her adaptive talent and courage to take on roles that demand much of her, including those that require nudity when it enriches the narrative and character development.
Jonathan Glazer’s intriguing film, Under the Skin, initially attracted attention as “Scarlett Johansson’s nude movie.” It showcased Johansson as an alluring extraterrestrial creature, luring men into her abode for a cryptic ritual.
As the film reached a broader audience, attention veered from the nudity aspect towards the deep, resonating themes Glazer masterfully wove into his extraordinary science fiction masterpiece.
Interestingly, Johansson’s nude scenes almost didn’t come to pass. Her agreement was contingent upon her specific conditions, adding a fascinating dimension to the film’s production process.
In a revealing conversation with W Magazine, Johansson explained her reasons for agreeing to nudity in Glazer’s Under the Skin. From the outset, her character is seen in the nude as she strips a woman she has abducted.
Throughout most of the film, Johansson’s character’s attire remains consistent – she’s nude. She also opted for a purposefully antiquated black hairstyle, straying from the conventional ‘bombshell’ look.
Johansson clarified her intent to depict nudity as non-glamorous, stating, “She was a different species, so her nudity was practical. I also had black hair. That was my idea — I didn’t think I should be a blonde bombshell. Naked, but not too sexy.”
Regrettably, despite positive reviews and Johansson’s daring performance, Under the Skin fell short at the box office. With a budget of $13 million, the film only grossed $5.4 million, a stark contrast to the earnings of an Avengers: Age of Ultron midnight showing, in which Johansson had a supporting role.
In retrospect, one might question whether Johansson’s intentional decision to play down her extraterrestrial character’s allure affected the movie’s commercial success.
Could a more traditionally glamorous rendition of the alien character have improved the film’s success, perhaps with a digital enhancement to spark the imagination?
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