Scarlett Johansson has joined the long list of women in Hollywood opening up about the trials and joys of balancing motherhood with a career.
“I don’t profess to know anything about parenting, anything more than anybody else, [but] being a working mom is an incredible challenge,” Johansson told reporters at the amfAR New York Gala on Tuesday. “It’s [also] an incredible gift.”
The actor, currently on the promotional trail for her latest movie The Ghost in the Shell, added: “I have a lot of huge admiration for working moms. I’m barely, barely holding it together.”
Johansson, 32, has a two-year-old daughter, Rose Dorothy, with French journalist Romain Dauriac. It was recently reported that the couple – who married in 2014 – had separated.
“I think you always feel a little bit of guilt,” Johansson told ET Online. “If you’re at work, you feel like you’re missing out on those special moments with your kid. If you’re with your kid, you feel like you’re not giving enough to your job. It’s a balance.”
Johansson is a vocal advocate for Planned Parenthood, the US reproductive health provider currently under threat from Donald Trump’s administration. In a powerful speech at the Women’s March on Washington in January, the actor entreated the president to “support me, support my sister, support my best friend, and all of our girlfriends”.
Speaking at the amfAR Gala, Johannsson credited her own mother, Melanie Sloan, with inspiring her political activism. “[She] been incredibly inspiring for me in many, many ways, but certainly as a young girl,” she said.
“She never shielded us from what was going on in the zeitgeist in culture. She always made us aware, you know, socially aware.
“She always encouraged us to be politically and socially active.”
Johansson is far from alone in Hollywood in speaking frankly about the difficulties of balancing family responsibilities and a career.
In an essay published in Time magazine in May 2015, Victoria Beckham wrote: “Like so many working mothers over the world, I feel the constant struggle to be the best mother I can, whilst setting a good example to my children to work hard.”
Claire Danes, meanwhile – who gave birth to her son Cyrus in 2012 – has called on women to shrug off the burden of trying to be a ‘perfect’ mother.
“Being a mom is incredibly challenging but we still feel a pressure to talk about it in very romantic terms,” she said in 2014. “We all have that resentment at times and anxiety about being trapped by that role, that responsibility.”
Images: Rex Features, Getty