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Scarlett Johansson Opens Up About Growing Up on Welfare & Food Stamps

Sarah Aswell is a freelance humor writer who lives in Missoula, Montana, with her husband and two kids. Her words have appeared in places like The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, The Hairpin, and more.

The Rough Night actor offers a tough look into her past

Sometimes, it's hard not to see Scarlett Johansson as almost inhumanly perfect. The movie star is known worldwide for her talent and beauty, and she was last year's highest-grossing female actor (with $1.2 billion in ticket sales for movies like Captain America: Civil War and Hail, Caesar!).

But on the latest episode of Inside the Actors Studio on Bravo, Johansson opened up about her tough childhood growing up as one of four kids in a home without enough income.

More: Scarlett Johansson Is Keeping It Real About Motherhood

The topic came up when host James Lipton asked Johansson about childhood trauma. She answered by first talking about her parents' separation and also her family's lack of income. "By the time my twin brother and I came around, I think my parents' marriage, it had a lot of strain. You know, we were living on welfare. We were on food stamps," Johansson told Lipton. "My parents were raising four kids in a low-income household in Manhattan. So there was a lot."

She continued, "My mom tried to be as much as a buffer as possible with that experience. But there's no kind of handbook to how to do that stuff. It was just a lot."

More: Scarlett Johansson's Best Musical Performances

This isn't the first time Johansson has talked about her childhood poverty. Two years ago when engaged with a campaign for Feeding America, she released a statement that she understood childhood hunger all too well.

Here's the PSA she released: 

"My family grew up relying on public assistance to help provide meals for our family. Child hunger in America is a real and often overlooked problem, but one that together, we can fix."

More: What's up with Scarlett Johansson's Divorce... and What Will Become of the Popcorn Store?

Following the success of her latest film, Rough Night, Johansson is working on two Avengers movie sequels in which she plays Black Widow. You can catch her episode of Inside the Actors Studio on Thursday night, June 22 at 8/7c on Bravo.

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