Scarlett Johansson talks playing The Major in Ghost In The Shell

It’s as if Scarlett Johansson had been preparing to play the role of The Major for her entire career. Certainly for the creative minds behind Ghost In The Shell — the spectacular new live action take on a Manga classic — there was only ever one choice.

Here, she discusses the benef­its of suiting up for action as well as the “boyish” quality of her co-star

Michael Carmen Pitt and the “yearning to connect” that is part of modern life — all further proof that, as Ghost In The Shell director Rupert Sanders puts it, “Scarlett is the cyberpunk queen”. All hail the reigning monarch.

It would seem The Major’s journey of self-discovery is a little less abstract than the main character’s in the 1995 anime movie.

Scarlett Johansson in Ghost In The Shell

When I ­first saw the anime f­ilm it was kind of esoteric and existential and free flowing. It was very poetic and, of course, that applies not just to the words; the visual journey is very languid and poetic as well.

It didn’t immediately strike me as something that could be adapted for live action. The visual references are exciting and you can imagine how that’s going to lift of­f from the anime version, but the character’s journey was not totally apparent to me.

I thought the physical aspect would be exciting and that it would be a great challenge, but what was I going to do with it?

For my vanity it was exciting, but other than just making pretty pictures, what was there to hold on to? What could the audience hold on to? I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

So, it kept gnawing away at you?

It did keep gnawing at me. You have this woman who has an idea of who she is — or who is told who she is supposed to be — and then this feeling at the back of her mind, which is the person who she actually is.

There is this ghost that literally and spiritually haunts her. I started to play around with that idea.

This is going to sound a bit pretentious but I am going to…

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