Monday 26 September 2016

Johansson tones down sex appeal

Published 20/12/2012 | 15:04

Scarlett Johansson plays Maggie in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
Scarlett Johansson plays Maggie in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

Scarlett Johansson says she won't emphasise her character's sex appeal in her next Broadway role - even if it puts a dent in the box office.

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The actress, 28, once called Babe Of The Year by GQ magazine, is determined to be a more naturalistic Maggie in a revival of Tennessee Williams' play Cat On A Hot Tin Roof opening next month.

Elizabeth Taylor famously played the role on-screen in a satin slip in the film classic, and actresses Anika Noni Rose, Ashley Judd and Kathleen Turner have also starred as the predatory Maggie to sexy degrees.

"I think her sexuality is often overplayed and over-appreciated. It's such an unimportant part of this story," Scarlett said. "I mean, it comes with the circumstance, of course, and the settling and the words - that's already there. There's no need to drape yourself all over the stage and roll around in a satin sheet."

If that puts a dent in the box office, so be it, the four-time Golden Globe nominated star of Lost In Translation and The Avengers, added, quipping: "There's always the half-price ticket line."

The new production is led by director Rob Ashford and co-stars Benjamin Walker as Maggie's drunken, disinterested husband, Ciaran Hinds as Big Daddy and Debra Monk as Big Mama.

"It's really a beautiful play, really a perfect play, I think," Scarlett said. "If the play fails, it's our fault."

Scarlett has already proved she has the acting chops for Broadway, having won a best featured actress Tony Award in 2010 in Arthur Miller's A View From The Bridge opposite Liev Schreiber.

It was a victory from a stage novice that silenced critics who had moaned about movie stars showing up in Times Square simply to sell tickets.

"I'm just happy the stage door is still open and I can walk through it," she said. "I was just happy to survive the run, really. Honestly. I expected to be lambasted. I knew that was a possibility going into it. But that's OK."

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