‘Don Jon’ Star Scarlett Johansson Explains How She Got Her Gum-Smacking, Jersey Accent

New York-born ScarJo insists she picked up her character's accent from her 'own backyard.'

Many a critic is calling Scarlett Johansson‘s turn in “Don Jon”Joseph Gordon-Levitt‘s directorial debut about a porn addict who struggles with real-life romantic relationships — her best performance in years. And, as the actress told MTV News recently, it may be because she not only took so much joy out of playing a gum-clacking, dime of a girlfriend, Barbara, but also because she could relate to her.

“I did love playing this character, but I think partly because I really sympathized with her,” Johansson said. “I think that the character has a ton of conviction and really does believe that the best way forward for both these people is just for Jon to fit in that little box and just go with the flow. And I think, you know, we’re all guilty of that. I just played her with as much conviction as I think she has. It was just an absolute blast.”

Movie-goers may spot some similarities between the film’s two lovebirds and the cast of a certain MTV reality series, but Johansson insisted she didn’t draw any inspiration from Snooki, JWOWW or Sammi.

“That voice is one I grew up with. I grew up in New York City, and Jersey is just the light at the end of the tunnel for us,” she explained. “It’s definitely something I can kind of slip on and off.”

In fact, Johansson went so far as to claim “Jersey Shore” ignorance.

“I can’t understand — I don’t know what it is,” she said. “Is it like ‘The Real World’?”

Co-star Gordon-Levitt tried to explain but, well, you’ll have to watch the video for his near-”blasphemous” response.

“Don Jon” is in theaters now.