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Scarlett Johansson Says Being A Parent Helped Her Prepare For 'Jojo Rabbit' Role

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Scarlett Johansson admitted that being a real-life mom to now 5-year-old Rose helped her portray a parent on the big screen twice in 2019.

While visiting the Entertainment Weekly and PEOPLE studios at the Toronto International Film Festival to talk about her film Jojo Rabbit, the current highest-paid actress got candid and said how thankful she was for the first-hand-knowledge motherhood brought to the role.

In this satirical comedy, loosely based on the novel by Christine Leunens, young German boy Johannes (Roman Griffin Davis) wants nothing more than to be friends with the Führer and on his quest to become the country’s fiercest Jew-killing patriot, he invents a fantasy version as a form of guidance, played by filmmaker Waititi himself.

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“It’s a parent’s job to protect their kids,” Johansson told EW and PEOPLE at TIFF. “I think that by not involving Roman’s character in the reality of what’s going on at home… I think I’m basically keeping him alive that way. I’ve never had a child in [a] film before. And then this year, I made two films where suddenly [I had] 10 and 11-year-olds — so I kind of became this insta-parent.”

According to People, She added, “I think for actors, of course, there are ways of getting yourself where you need to go. Being a parent myself was just invaluably helpful to me. I had empathy for Rosie’s plate that I may not have had insight on otherwise. She was just a joy to play. She’s a warm, lovable character that felt really comfy to me. And I wanted that to come across, that she’s just comfortable and kind of sugary and warm.”

Johansson has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, has made multiple appearances in the Forbes Celebrity 100, and is the recipient of several awards, including a Tony Award and a British Academy Film Award. On September 4, 2014, Johansson and journalist Romain Dauriac announced the birth of their baby daughter, Rose. The couple wed on October 1, 2014, in Philipsburg, Montana. After more than two years of marriage, Johannson divorced Dauriac in September 2017. In May 2019, it was revealed that Johansson and SNL writer and "Weekend Update" host Colin Jost got engaged after two years of dating.

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