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EXCLUSIVE: Scarlett Johansson Responds to 'Ghost in the Shell' Criticism: 'I'm Cautiously Optimistic'

ETOnline logo ETOnline 11/01/2017 Desiree Murphy

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Scarlett Johansson isn't letting the haters get her down!

ET recently caught up with the 32-year-old actress, where she got candid about receiving criticism for her casting in director Rupert Sanders' latest live-action adaptation, Ghost in the Shell, out March 31.

"I'm skeptical of the casting myself," Johansson, who portrays a typically Japanese manga character known as the Major in the film, joked to ET's Cameron Mathison. "No! I hope that fans go on this journey of self-discovery with this character and are taken away to this world, a world Rupert so painstakingly created for them."

"You know, there's a lot of great, kind of references -- visual references -- for the fans that hopefully will have them standing and cheering," she continued. "Fingers crossed, we'll see."

Johansson admitted, however, that she has yet to see the final version of the film. At the time of our interview, she had only seen the trailer.

"It is exciting to see it come together, and I think I have sort of stuck my head in the sand a little bit, because I worked so hard [on] it, as everybody [has], and I want to see it when it's ready," she explained. "I want to see it when Rupert's ready to show it to me. I'm still kind of -- I kept myself in, like, a bubble."

The New York City native called the trailer "awesome," and said she was "really blown away by the opening."

"I saw the shelling sequence and the trailer when they premiered both of those in Tokyo," she exclaimed. "I was really excitedly there at this beautiful event that Paramount had planned."

"I'm cautiously optimistic, as I always am," she continued. "But I love this character. I'm really into the world that Rupert created, and I'm excited to see it all pieced together."

Johansson is no stranger to playing tough characters onscreen, so she was stoked when she heard she nabbed the part.

"I think the most badass thing about [the Major] is that she's vulnerable," Johansson gushed. "And that part of her is what makes her so strong. She's vulnerable, she's curious, and it's those two qualities that actually allow her to own her fate at the end of this film. They allow her to, reluctantly in some ways, accept her role as a protector of humanity against themselves, I guess."

The role requires a lot of physicality, which was not a problem for Johansson, who says staying fit is "a lifestyle."

"The secret [to staying in shape] is not really a secret, but just a lot of hard work and discipline," she dished. "I've found as I've gotten older that I like the discipline of having, every day, set goals for myself at work. That starts at the gym in the morning, and then I fight my way through the day!"

"Always gotta carve out some time [for exercise]," she added. "It's important."

Johansson also told ET that getting into character was a workout itself. In the film, she has to wear a flesh-colored skintight latex unitard, an outfit she jokes is "really flattering."

"That was all the exercise I needed, actually!" she explained. "I was absolutely, like, covered and drenched in sweat after getting in it. And my costumer, too. The two of us were like, it was a tango for sure! I'm like, you know, arm out here, leg down, all over the place."

"The first few times, it was a challenge, and then it became a graceful dance between us," she continued. "Eventually, kind of second nature. [The costumer] would come into my trailer, [and] I was already half-dressed. She was like, 'Damn, you're putting me out of a job, man! You got yourself in and out of that thing.'"

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