How an Undercover Scarlett Johansson Tricked Men Into Thinking She Was Cruising For Sex
To ground his extraterrestrial drama in reality, "Under the Skin" director Jonathan Glazer sent his starlet out on the streets of Scotland.
Scarlett Johansson stars in Under the Skin as an alien invader struggling with identity. Her daily mission: seduce men off the streets, lure them back to home base, and drown them in a preservation fluid until their epidermis can be stripped and collected. On any other movie, casting agents would handpick camera-ready targets for Johansson to prey upon. But director Jonathan Glazer wanted to capture true temptation — an experience, not a performance.
To pull it off, Glazer took a cue from Sacha Baron Cohen and the docu-comedy stylings of Borat. Johansson donned her costume, hit the streets, and through the magic of hidden cameras, selected victims as if she was a skin-hunting being from another planet. Anything could happen as long as the actress kept up the ruse.
"You're taking film to people, instead of bringing people to the film," Glazer says in a new Under the Skin behind-the-scenes video. "It's intoxicating."
Glazer and his team rigged an assortment of tiny cameras to capture Johansson expedition, hidden everywhere from the inside of her white van's dashboard to the crevices of a local mall. Often, the production crew would shoot 30 minutes of unbroken takes with eight different cameras rolling at once. It was filmmaking as spycraft.
"For me, it was absolutely thrilling. When we first started doing that covert stuff, you become incredibly self-conscious. All those things are life happening around this character," Johansson says in the video.
Watch the full feature below. Under the Skin opens in theaters April 4.