Apparently, Joaquin Phoenix could not handle filming an intimate scene with Scarlett Johansson while working on the movie Her — even though they never touched!
The 47-year-old actor starred in Spike Jonze’s 2013 sci-fi romance as a man named Theodore who falls in love with his artificially intelligent virtual assistant Samantha, portrayed by Scarlett in an acclaimed voice performance. Although the 37-year-old actress does not appear on the screen, the two characters have a sexual relationship in the form of phone sex — which requires ScarJo to make fake orgasm sounds. Yes, really. And according to Scarlett, the process of creating that steamy scene was anything but sexy!
During a convo on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast this week, the Black Widow star opened up about how she had to record herself faking an orgasm for the movie. Scarlett recalled that when she and the Joker star went to work on the scene together, he had become so uncomfortable by the moment that he had to walk away during the taping! She said:
“Joaquin comes in, we try to get through one take, and he was like losing it. He was like, angry … He had already done it, he had done it in person, and now he was with me, in this weird theater, I’m in this box and he is staring at me, the lights are low, and like, Spike is there. It was so bizarre. He was so upset about it, he left the studio. … He needed a break.”
For her part, Scarlett says she understood why Joaquin might have been freaked out by the scene, adding:
“You don’t want to hear your voice ever. You definitely don’t want to hear what you sound like having an orgasm. You definitely don’t want to hear what you sound like having a fake orgasm — ew. It’s so gross.”
We can imagine that must have been a pretty awk moment on set! But it seems like it paid off, as the film won Spike an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, and it was even nominated for Best Picture. ScarJo was definitely in the conversation leading up to the awards for Best Supporting Actress, but vocal-only performances — even when utilizing performance capture — are still considered ineligible.
Elsewhere on the podcast, Scarlett touched on being hypersexualized during the beginning of her career:
“I kind of became objectified and pigeonholed in this way where I felt like I wasn’t getting offers for work for things that I wanted to do. I remember thinking to myself, ‘I think people think I’m 40 years old.’ It somehow stopped being something that was desirable and something that I was fighting against.”
In fact, being objectified become such a norm that she believed her career would be “over” right away:
“I think everybody thought I was older and that I’d been [acting] for a long time, I got kind of pigeonholed into this weird hypersexualized thing. I felt like [my career] was over. It was like: that’s the kind of career you have, these are the roles you’ve played. And I was like, ‘This is it?’”
Reactions to her not-so-sexy takes on Hollywood sexiness, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments. You can also listen to the full interview HERE.