Scarlett Johansson definitely had a lot of work to do when she signed on to star in Luc Besson’s upcoming action flick Lucy.
Written and directed by the guy responsible for The Fifth Element and The Professional, the thriller tells the story of a woman (Johansson) who becomes a warrior who has “evolved beyond human logic.” In other words, expect Scarlett to do all sorts of nifty things to the evildoers who cross her path.
Besson has a knack for penning strong female characters, as evidenced by his 1990 action classic La Femme Nikita. Although you’d think the filmmaker might have a specific actress in mind when he writes one of these screenplays, Luc told HitFix that finding the right person for the role ultimately comes down to face-to-face meetings.
“You say, ‘Okay, why not? Let’s meet.’ And then you talk and I talk about the film and I watch their eyes. I see, you know, how she eats her food. I see if she’s trying to please me or if she’s not really there, if she’s distracted. In the case of [Scarlett Johansson], she came in, and she was such a strong woman,” the director explained.
He added, “She just looked at me the entire time, really trying to take it in, which I love. She’s pure concentration. She’s not here for nothing. [Johansson] was all in for that meeting, to see how it might be, and at the end, I tell her, ‘Okay, read it.’ That’s it. She took it. She called me back. And that was it. She was in.”
Since Scarlett Johansson has spent quite a bit of time working on flicks for the boys and girls at Marvel, she was definitely in great physical condition to tackle Lucy. However, Besson told Movie Fanatic that he had to make sure Scarlett wasn’t treating his latest cinematic endeavor as just another movie role.
“It’s about the chemistry. You need to feel comfortable. You’re going to spend six months together. You need to be sure that it’s not a job. She was really focused on me when I was telling her about the film. She was feeling it. I can feel she was at the right spot already,” he explained.
Scarlett Johansson fans who are ready to see the actress kick even more cinematic behind should make sure their schedules are clear later this summer. Lucy hits the big screen in the US on August 4.
[Image via Universal Pictures]