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According to Scarlett Johansson, Joaquin Phoenix had a difficult time recording audio for their sex scenes in Spike Jonze’s 2013 film Her.
During Johansson’s appearance Monday on the 500th episode of Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast, the Academy Award nominee, 37, said that her costar had already filmed the entire movie before she replaced Samantha Morton in the voice role and scenes needed to be re-recorded.
She said that recording sex scenes between the artificial intelligence Samantha, who falls in love with Phoenix’s Theodore Twombly, was “one of the most challenging jobs that I’ve done,” and recording sessions with Jonze, 52, proved uncomfortable for Phoenix, 47 .
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Johansson noted: “You definitely don’t want to hear what you sound like having a fake orgasm.”
“I remember we came in that day,” she said. “I’ve become that actor that’s like ‘let’s get dirty.’ I have to, because otherwise I’ll be petrified. Joaquin comes in, we try to get through one take and he was, like, losing it. He was like ‘I can’t do it.'”
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“He was like angry… he had already [filmed the scene]he had done it in person, and now he was with me in this weird theater and I’m in this box, and he was like staring at me, and the lights are low, and Spike is there… it was so bizarre, Johansson continued.
“I was fine. Joaquin was not – he was so upset about it,” she added. “He left the studio, and now I’m in this box by myself and I’m like, ‘I can’t do it alone. I need him to come back.’ He needed a break; he took a break and he came back in.”
Despite the difficult recording sessions, Johansson, Jonze and Phoenix’s hard work paid off — Her made $48 million at the global box office against a $23 million budget and received one Academy Award for Best Screenplay at the 86th Oscars, along with four other nominations.
“I haven’t seen that movie in a long time but I bet if I watched it I would be so mortified,” Johansson said. “It’s tough.”
Johansson, Shepard and co-host Monica Padman also had a candid conversation about Johansson’s early days as an actress during her Armchair Expert appearance.
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the Black Widow star admitted during the episode that she spent a lot of time around adults as a child, which she attributed to her Manhattan upbringing and career and said that she “definitely was in different situations that were not age-appropriate.”
“Luckily my mom was really good about protecting me from a lot of that stuff, but she can’t do that for everything,” Johansson told the pair.
Johansson said that this perceived maturity went hand-in-hand with her being “hyper-sexualized” as a young actress, despite saying that sex was “never a huge part of my actual personality.”
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“Because I think everybody thought I was older and I’d been [acting] for a long time and then I got kind of pigeonholed into this weird hyper-sexualized thing,” Johansson said. “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, I guess.'”
Shepard and Johansson also acknowledged that this “hyper-sexualized” pigeonhole in Hollywood has an early expiration date for women.
“The runway is not long on that and so it was scary at that time,” the Marriage Story actress recalled. “And I attributed a lot of that to the fact that people thought I was much, much older than I was.”