As women, we’re all just trying to keep the plates spinning, right? And Scarlett Johansson exclusively tells SheKnows that the work/life balance struggle is one she is also all too familiar with. But, the Marriage Story star and mother-of-one has figured out a few things along the way — and she’s sharing two key pieces of insight with women who, like her, have let their plates drop a time or two.
Johansson told SheKnows at the Marriage Story premiere Tuesday, Nov. 5th, that she’s acutely aware of the pressures we place on ourselves. “I think we as women, we stress ourselves out so much just trying to wear all these hats and do it all at the same time, and effortlessly,” she shared with us, continuing, “and there is such a higher expectation of women to succeed at everything. The bar is so high, and we set it for ourselves, too.”
That kind of pressure, says Johansson can be a self-saboteur because, let’s be real, there’s no way to do it all — and certainly no way to do it all perfectly. “I think once you realize, ‘Okay, one of these things is going to suffer and I have to prioritize here,’ that in and of itself gives you a lot of space in your mind to reach your goals.”
Perhaps an even more salient reminder, since it’s one we as women so often neglect? “I always say ‘be kind to yourself,’ and I think that allows you to actually get a bigger picture of what you want to achieve,” Johansson said.
In addition to being a busy working actress, Johansson is also a busy working mom to 5-year-old daughter Rose. And, as she tells it, the latter makes her better at the former. This proved especially true with Marriage Story, in which she plays a wife and mother named Nicole trying to navigate an emotionally exhaustive coast-to-coast divorce (plus, you know, parenting and her career).
So, when asked how being a mother informed her role, Johansson was clear: a lot.
“Nicole identifies so much as a mom, she would say number one that’s what she is. I feel that way too. Not to say you have to experience what your character is going through in order to understand it, but it was invaluable to be able to understand what it means to have someone in your life you would do anything for and that is your complete priority,” Johansson told us. “Just knowing what that is, is really helpful.”
Marriage Story, also starring Adam Driver and Laura Dern, hits theaters on Dec. 6.
— Reporting by Kate Durocher
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