Scarlett Johansson And Joseph Gordon-Levitt On ‘Don Jon,’ Sex Scenes
Scarlett Johansson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt star together in the new film Don Jon, which Gordon-Levitt also wrote and directed. The pair play New Jersey couple Jon and Barbara, who face Jon’s obsession with pornography and objectification of women. “I think certainly, not just as a person in the spotlight, but also as a woman, I’m used to being objectified,” Johansson told uInterview exclusively. “I think that it’s important not to just feel that that can kind of clip your wings or pigeon-hole you, but actually to try not to let those things, those limits really affect your desire to challenge yourself and to place yourself outside of the box.”
Gordon-Levitt also brought his actor’s perspective to the material. “You’ll miss all that good stuff if you’re busy comparing your life to what you’ve seen on a screen and so that’s a lot of what I wanted to poke fun at by making this movie,” he told Uinterview.
The movie isn’t shy about about depicting the graphic sex scenes. “There were very specific points that had to be hit so that can take the magic out of it a little bit. But you know, we kept it pretty steamy,” Johannson said.
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SJ: Well, you know, the scenes are are really choreographed, like pretty heavily choreographed, because it's important how Barbara uses her body and how these two characters connect and then they kind of disconnect and the sort of dance between them. There were very specific points that had to be hit so that can take the magic out of it a little bit. But, you know, we kept it pretty steamy. You got to kind of, you got to commit to it. After the first couple of takes, it was like, 'Okay, this is going to be good, I think. We got something here. We've got something here.' Just ignore the 70 crew members eating pastrami sandwiches standing around you and try to stay in the moment, keep it fresh.
JGL: Yeah, I think that was part of what inspired me to write it in the first place. Having enough interactions where people were saying, 'If only my life could be like that movie you were in,' or 'If only I could find somebody like you in that movie.' You know, hearing things like that sometimes startles me because... look, I love movies but movies aren't real life and real life is so much more beautiful and rich with detail and nuance then any movie could ever be. Even a great movie. And you'll miss it. You'll miss all that good stuff if you're busy comparing your life to what you've seen on a screen and so that's a lot of what I wanted to poke fun at by making this movie.
SJ: I think certainly, not just as a person in the spotlight, but also as a woman I'm used to being objectified and you know, I think that it's important not to just feel that that can kind of clip your wings or pigeon-hole you but actually to try not to let those things, those limits really affect your desire to challenge yourself and to place yourself outside of the box. I've always tried to use whatever kind of spotlight I've had and kind of flip it on its head and shine it on something else and break it up that way.
JGL: To me, the most thrilling moments of the whole process, from writing to shooting, through post-production and everything, was those moments when these fantastic actors, that I was privileged enough to be working with, took text that I had written and brought it to life, brought their own individual take on what I had done and surprised me and brought nuance to it that I wouldn't have expected and honestly, Scarlett did that every day, from the very beginning. I remember the very, very, very first time that we sat down to start rehearsing, and I first heard you do the character and speak in that accent. I instantly knew, I was like, 'I knew it! I was right! I knew she was going to kill this.' I was just over the moon.
SJ: I think it's hard to pinpoint a specific moment, but I think really from the very first conversation that Joe and I had about this project, we were talking about the film's themes and led in to this conversation about relationships and how we are in relationships and what we expect from our partner and our experiences. It was a very intimate conversation right off the bat, and I felt that there was this kind of groundwork for this kind of trust between us. That's just a fond memory that I have, is really the first time that we met. I was so intrigued about what this project would be that he hadn't left the house before I started reading the script. I think I emailed him 20 minutes later practically, after I finished it.