Scarlett Johansson: ‘Nothing was improvised on Marriage Story’

Noah Baumbach has praised Scarlett Johansson for making his lines seem so personal.

Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver didn’t improvise any of their dialogue in Marriage Story because director Noah Baumbach was specific about sticking to the script.

In the new drama, the Avengers star and Star Wars actor play an estranged couple going through a cross-country divorce process while trying to juggle parenting duties.

There are many scenes in which they have arguments and discussions that feel so realistic many people have assumed they were improvised, but Scarlett has now revealed that it was all in the script in the first place.

“What surprises a lot of people about that film is that every single hesitation, every unfinished sentence, every moment where an actor talks, all of that stuff is scripted,” she told Vanity Fair magazine. “It’s just so well written. Every single thing that comes out of our mouths is totally scripted, and nothing is improvised. No hesitation. No ‘If….’ No ‘But….’ It’s all completely scripted, and Noah is so specific about it.”

The director approached the 35-year-old about starring in his divorce drama before he had even written the script and he created the character with her in mind.

Although she was saying his lines, he felt like it could have been Scarlett’s movie as she made it feel so personal.

“You want actors who are there to bring truth to the scenes, and only they can do it at the moment - she’s amazing at it,” Noah praised. “I mean, everything is right there… I feel like I’m watching her movie a lot of times because it feels so personal, what she’s doing, even though they’re my lines.”

Marriage Story, which also stars Laura Dern and Ray Liotta, is now streaming on Netflix.

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