When casting Lisbeth Salander for the American version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, director David Fincher flew all over the world looking for the right woman to play (as described in Steig Larsson‘s book) “a pale, anorexic young woman who had hair as short as a fuse, and a pierced nose and eyebrows.” And did you know that one of those candidates was none other than Scarlett Johansson?
In Vogue’s profile of the movie and star Rooney Mara, David stresses that Scarlett (now starring in The Avengers) had a “great” audition. The only problem was that she’s way too sexy to play the Asperger’s-afflicted hacker. But the way that he phrased it is just so ironic we had to share:
Look, we saw some amazing people. Scarlett Johansson was great. It was a great audition, I’m telling you. But the thing with Scarlett is, you can’t wait for her to take her clothes off.
This interview was conducted in June, a few months before ScarJo’s naked photos got leaked online, which makes it even more hilarious.
However, David was probably just using a figure of speech, since the actress actually has a no-nudity clause in all of her movies. (Not that it’ll do her much good anymore…) So, all those fans who would’ve been eagerly waiting for some full-frontal would’ve been sorely disappointed.
But if you’re talking figuratively instead of literally, he was completely right—Lisbeth is a character who has lots of sex (with both men and women), but she’s not inherently sexy. Even though the only camera on which Scarlett’s gone entirely naked was her iPhone camera, she exudes sexuality that would’ve been entirely out of place in this movie. Consider that the first time many of us learned how she was, in Lost in Translation, we met her like this:
At the same time that he was unintentionally predicting Scarlett’s nude photos scandal, David was running poor Rooney through the ringer. He had her come in over and over, without indicating how good her chances were for getting the part. He also had odd requests for each screen test; the one that most stands out is when he told her to get throw-up drunk the night before so she would look strung out the next morning.
And it worked!