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Scarlett Johansson on Woody Allen: “I believe him, and I would work with him anytime”

Photo: Peter Kramer (Getty Images)

When one Scarlett Johansson controversy fades, another begins. In July, the Black Widow actress furrowed our brows into knots when she defended her decision to play a traditionally Asian character (in Ghost In The Shell) and a real-life trans gangster (in the upcoming Rub & Tug) by saying “should be allowed to play any person, or any tree, or any animal.” Now, having learned that the take is an uninformed one, no matter how it’s framed, she’s retreating from any further discussion of the topic. “There’s other voices that have more to say on this subject that probably need a microphone,” she says in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “Yeah. I think I’m done speaking on that subject.” Well, fear not, Johansson fans, because she’s just getting started speaking on another hot button topic: Woody Allen.

Allen’s seen his relationships with a number of collaborators, studios, and publishers collapse in light of allegations of sexual abuse against his daughter, Dylan Farrow, who reiterated her claims in 2014. Others, meanwhile, have stood by the legendary filmmaker. Javier Bardem, for example, (regrettably) called Allen’s situation a “public lynching,” and now Johansson, his Vicky Cristina Barcelona co-star, is also coming to the embattled director’s defense.

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“I love Woody,” she says. “I believe him, and I would work with him anytime.” Saying she’s had “a lot of conversations” with the director about the situation, she adds, “I have been very direct with him, and he’s very direct with me. He maintains his innocence, and I believe him.” She danced around a question, however, about the recent emphasis being put on believing women when they bring forth allegations “It’s hard because it’s a time where people are very fired up, and understandably. Things needed to be stirred up, and so people have a lot of passion and a lot of strong feelings and are angry, and rightfully so. It’s an intense time.”

She’s been in the thick of it herself, after all. She called out James Franco, for example, at the Women’s March last year, criticizing the actor for wearing a Time’s Up pin publicly after five women accused him of “sexually inappropriate or exploitative behavior, allegations he denies. She questioned how a person could “publicly stand by an organization that helps to provide support for victims of sexual assault, while privately preying on people who have no power.” She then added, “I want my pin back, by the way.” Allen, meanwhile, believes he should be the “poster boy” for #MeToo, but in a good way.

Read the full interview here, wherein she discusses her upcoming turns in Black Widow, JoJo Rabbit, and Marriage Story, the latter two we’ll have reviews of after they premiere at TIFF this week.

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About the author

Randall Colburn

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.