5 Questions With: A View from the Bridge’s Scarlett Johansson


A new Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s 1955 play A View from the Bridge starring Scarlett Johansson and Liev Schreiber opens on January 24 for a 14-week limited engagement. The storyline focuses on Eddie Carbone (Liev), an Italian American longshoreman living in Red Hook with his wife and their orphaned niece, Catherine (Scarlett). When his wife’s two cousins illegally immigrate into the country, Catherine strikes up a romantic relationship with one of them, inadvertently unleashing her uncle’s jealousy. Then, because it’s a Miller play, hell rains down on the lot of ’em.

Last week, we had the chance to check out the play in previews, and Scarlett delivers a solid performance in her Broadway debut — no small feat when you consider that she’s working alongside a stage vet like Liev. After the jump, our email interview with the actress in which she reveals what’s going through that pretty head every evening at curtain call.

Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Hecht, and Liev Schreiber © Joan Marcus, 2010

1. I loved Alfieri’s early line about “being inclined to notice the ruins in things.” Are you that kind of person?

A part of me is definitely a skeptical New Yorker, but I’d say I’m mostly inclined to notice the unexpected in seemingly mundane things.

Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Hecht © Joan Marcus, 2010

2. Your character Catherine struggles to assert herself as a grown woman. Do you think that was something that was harder to do back in ’50s? Or easier, as gender roles were more strictly defined back then?

I do think that it became easier to assert oneself as a free thinking, independent woman with the relief that resulted from women’s liberation, but I don’t think that what burdens Catherine is her inability to assert herself as a woman. I think she struggles to recognize herself as a blossoming woman and how that change affects those that are closest to her.

Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Hecht, and Liev Schreiber © Joan Marcus, 2010

3. You’ve played characters who live in a wide range of time periods. Do you have one era that you prefer inhabiting?

Aesthetically speaking, I’ve always loved film noir and the structured silhouette of the 1940’s.

Scarlett Johansson and Liev Schreiber © Joan Marcus, 2010

4. Do you feel like attractive female actors get more interesting roles than they did 50 years ago, or do you think that you’re more pigeon-holed today?

Female actors in general have always struggled to play characters outside of the girlfriend/wife vacuum. I don’t know that there are any more interesting roles now than there were 50 years ago when plum roles were given to Vivien Leigh, Natalie Wood, and Bette Davis. I suppose it really varies from year to year; sometimes the Best Actress category really deserves extra slots to fit all of the year’s great performances and some years it seems there are barely any opportunities for women in film to really shine.

Jessica Hecht and Liev Schreiber © Joan Marcus, 2010

5. You had a sad expression at curtain call. Is it hard to snap out of that final scene each night? What’s normally going through your mind?

My expression at curtain call may have been confused for sad but was really just got me dumbfounded as to how I got so lucky to be on Broadway taking a bow next to Liev Shreiber.

Check out a video of Scarlett and Liev chatting about the show below.