-- Actress Scarlett Johansson opened up about her new film, "Ghost in the Shell," addressing the controversy surrounding her being cast as the heroine and discussing the difficulties of being a woman in Hollywood, in an interview with "Good Morning America" anchor Michael Strahan that aired today.
Johansson said that when "Ghost in the Shell" was first brought to her attention it "seemed incredibly daunting," adding that her daughter was still very young, and "my head space was not at all like, in the 'Ghost in the Shell.'"
"But I thought, gosh, it's really hard to turn down the opportunity to be front and center for something that has such a built-in fanbase that's like, so dedicated and totally obsessed," the actress said.
"And also, you know, to be able to have the studio back something like this," Johansson added, "as an actor ... as a woman, it's rare. I hope it's not always so rare, but it is."
Johansson also addressed critics who say that an Asian actress should have been cast as the lead in "Ghost in the Shell" given that the film is based on a Japanese manga series by the same name.
"I think this character is living a very unique experience, in that she is human brain in an entirely machinate body," Johansson said. "She's essentially identityless."
"I thought to myself ... I can play this character," Johansson added. "I would never attempt to play a person of a different race, obviously."
"Any question of my casting will hopefully be answered by, you know, by audiences when they see the film," the actress said.
Johansson, who has recently made headlines for being politically vocal, told Strahan that she would not rule out working in politics in the future.
"I'm not afraid to say what I feel is right, just because I think that I'm going to face criticism, or some people might not like me," she said. "If fighting, you know, for women's rights, for women's reproductive rights, and you know, in support of Planned Parenthood, if that's going to, you know, mean that some people don't want to buy a ticket to see, 'Ghost in a Shell' then ... I'm OK with that."
"I think it's more important for me to stand up for what I believe is right, and for what I believe in," the actress said, adding that she comes from a very "politically vocal family."
"I've always like I said, been interested in local politics. It's not something that I would ... turn away from," she said.
Finally, the actress dished on what fans can expect from the next "Avengers" film, set for release in 2018.
"I think that fans are going to be surprised at the state of us all ... you know, a couple of years have passed," Johansson said. "The Avengers are not quite as [you] last remember them ... time has taken its toll."
"Ghost in the Shell" hits theaters nationwide on Friday.