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Scarlett Johansson: talking about the gender pay gap feels “a little obnoxious”

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Many actors, men and women, have made their feelings on the gender pay gap in Hollywood clear.

But in a new interview, Scarlett Johansson describes the idea of discussing the issue of wage equality as “a little obnoxious” when coming from someone who reportedly made $35.5 million (approximately £25 million) last year.

She tells Cosmopolitan: “There’s something icky about me having that conversation unless it applies to a greater whole… I am very fortunate, I make a really good living, and I’m proud to be an actress who’s making as much as many of my male peers at this stage.

“I think every woman has [been underpaid], but unless I’m addressing it as a larger problem, for me to talk about my own personal experience with it feels a little obnoxious. It’s part of a larger conversation about feminism in general.”

Plenty of well-known names have spoken out on the issue of sexism in acting and wage equality in general, and in an open letter last October, The Hunger Games' star Jennifer Lawrence conceded that extremely well-paid Hollywood stars being seen to moan about their weighty pay cheques wasn’t “exactly relatable”.

Scarlett Johansson Romain Dauriac

Johansson with partner Romain Dauriac

However, the point that she gave up negotiations because she hadn’t wanted to be seen as “spoilt” – something male co-stars would likely never be labelled – translates to many industries, and in a follow-up interview, actor Helen Mirren commented, “We've got to stop being polite. If I ever had children, which I don't, the first thing I'd teach a girl of mine is the words ‘fuck off.’”

In the new interview, Johansson, 31, also discusses a previous relationship with someone “forever unavailable” and has some sensible advice for anyone finding themselves in a similarly destructive situation.

“Long, long ago, I had someone in my life who was forever unavailable… but, like, so attractively unavailable,” she tells the magazine. “You have to get to your breaking point… rock bottom is the moment when you're like, ‘I’ve lost myself. Why am I standing outside this bar at 1.30 in the morning texting while my friends are inside? Or taking a taxi to see him at some ungodly hour? This isn't me.’

“That is the moment you’ve gotta cut it off. Otherwise, it will keep coming back, suck your blood.”

Johansson is now married to French journalist Romain Dauriac, with whom she welcomed daughter, Rose Dorothy, in September 2014.

The full interview can be found in the May 2016 issue of Cosmopolitan.

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