Scarlett Johansson Cancels Santa Barbara International Film Festival Appearance Due to ‘Violent Illness’

Scarlett Johansson Cancels Santa Barbara International Film Festival Appearance Due to 'Violent Illness'
Scarlett Johansson attends Governors Awards at Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, CA on October 27, 2019. Michael Buckner/Variety/Shutterstock

Under the weather. Scarlett Johansson abruptly cancelled her appearance at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Saturday, January 18, due to a “violent illness.”

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Roger Durling, the executive director of the film festival, read a note on Johansson’s behalf during the Outstanding Performer Award ceremony after the Marriage Story actress failed to appear.

“I am so saddened that I cannot be here with you this evening. An hour and a half ago I became violently ill right as I was about to leave the Miramar Hotel for the theater,” Johansson, 35, said in her statement. “I was so looking forward to accepting this incredible honor and to not be here on stage with Adam [Driver] is deeply disappointing, to say the least.”

She continued, “The Outstanding Performer recognition means so much to me as working on this film with Adam, [director] Noah [Baumbach] and the rest of the cast. It was such a special moment in my life. I hope that you’ll continue to have a wonderful evening and festival. Thank you for your support of SBIFF and Marriage Story.”

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Durling then added, “I hope that we will soon, soon, soon see Scarlett. The good news is that we have the incomparable Adam Driver,” before introducing the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker star, 36, who accepted the award.

During a media Q&A prior to the show, Driver opened about working with the Avengers actress on their now-infamous Marriage Story fight scene. The BlacKkKlansman star told Us Weekly and other reporters that working on the emotionally charged segment with Johansson was similar to filming “a love scene.”

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“We rehearsed it similar to you would a play. We taped it and then we’d walk through it again,” he dished on Saturday. “The blocking came really fast. I tried to physically manifest whatever is going on internally. We just have to be there and say it and mean it. You’re with a partner who is completely present and prepared. … Our crew when we were shooting it, it was like a love scene. The boom operator is looking away [because it was just] two people trying to be as [emotionally] naked as possible. It did the work for us … it’s hard not to be moved by it.”

Johansson has not revealed the details of her illness.

With reporting by Maureen Foley

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