Scarlett Johansson: 'Ghost in the Shell character has no identity'

The star felt "traumatised" by the end of the shoot.

Actress Scarlett Johansson is convinced her Ghost in the Shell role is not associated with any one race, because her cyborg character is "essentially identity-less".

The Caucasian beauty has been at the centre of controversy ever since she was cast as The Major in the film, with many critics accusing director Rupert Sanders of white-washing the live-action version of the classic Japanese manga series, instead of hiring an Asian actor.

Scarlett herself previously admitted she wasn't sure she was "the right person" for the part, but she embraced the role and now insists she would never have signed on for the project if she thought The Major should be of Asian descent.

"I think this character is living a very unique experience, and she is a human brain in an entirely machine body," Scarlett explained on U.S. breakfast show Good Morning America. "She's essentially identity-less."

"I would never attempt to play a person of a different race, obviously," she continued. "Hopefully any question that comes up of my casting will hopefully be answered by audiences when they see the film."

In the film, The Major leads a fictional counter-cyberterrorist organisation, called Public Security Section 9. The role was both physically and mentally draining for Scarlett, and she was grateful to "find" herself again once filming wrapped.

"I definitely came out of there a little traumatised at the end of this film, just because it was so much work and it was kind of a dark headspace to live in," she said. "(After the shoot), I was kinda like, 'OK, I did that. I'm hanging in, I'm resilient. I'm back to myself'. I was happy to find myself at the end of Ghost in the Shell."

The Hollywood adaptation of Ghost in the Shell isn't the first film to be based on the popular graphic novels. It was also turned into an anime movie in 1995, when actress Atsuko Tanaka voiced The Major.

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