Scarlett Johansson Reminds Us Why Love Doesn’t Mean You Shouldn’t Quit Your Day Jobby Lilit Marcus on December 15, 2011
We’ve all been there: you fall in love, and you fall hard. Sometimes you fall so hard that everything else in your life, including your friends and your job, falls away and becomes less important. As tempting as it may seem, abandoning everything else in pursuit of love is something that only works in the movies. And even movie stars know that.
Scarlett Johansson is promoting her new movie We Bought a Zoo, but all the interviewers really want to ask her about is her divorce from Ryan Reynolds. On the Today Show, she said that she threw herself into work in order to cope with the feelings she had about the split. “When I’m working, I can’t focus on anything but the job at hand, and I think that’s some kind of therapy,” she said. “There’s a community on film sets and in this industry. It would seem kind of cut-throat, but for me, I’ve been in the industry for 20 years and it has that familial kind of feel.”
Two points for Scarlett on this one: one, that she handled the question well without getting into details or bashing anyone, and two, that she focused her energies on something positive. When I was a kid, my mom told me that your job couldn’t hug you or tell you it loved you. That’s true, but being in love also can’t pay your bills. Good on Scarlett for focusing on work instead of jumping into another relationship (okay, there was that brief Sean Penn incident, but we all make mistakes). In the long run, coping with a breakup by working hard at your job is never a bad idea – the things you do at work will pay off for you in some way, and you can always dial it down later on once you’ve gotten yourself back on track. Throwing yourself into your job will most likely have positive benefits (a promotion, a raise, some new skills on your resume), while sitting around feeling sorry for yourself or drowning your sorrows in red wine isn’t going to get you much more than a hangover and a massive therapy bill. So I’ll see you in the office tomorrow at 7, go-getter.