The Avengers star, who welcomed daughter Rose Dorothy with reportedly estranged husband Romain Dauriac in 2014, reveals she was initially afraid of motherhood and how it would change her but she has been pleasantly surprised.

"It has changed me, yes," she tells Playboy magazine. "Just the process of being pregnant and giving birth was incredibly profound. Also surrendering to the fact that, with babies, and particularly infants and toddlers, you have to let go of your expectations and of whatever instincts you have to take control of the situation.

"Of course, being a mother, you have to make decisions all the time that affect this person, who is completely dependent on you - but you also have to surrender to the experience, and that in itself is really liberating."

"For me, it's the best thing that has ever happened. Ever," she adds. "Somebody once described it to me as your heart growing this other chamber, and I think that's really profoundly true. Your capacity to love something, at least in my experience, deepens to a whole other space. I think I was afraid that life would change, and it does; it dramatically changes. But I feel in a lot of ways more myself now than I did before."

Parenthood has also pushed the 32-year-old to focus on taking care of herself.

"I understand the importance of my own happiness now more than I did before," she says. "Because you see how it affects somebody else, and you're kind of like, 'If I'm not happy, then I can't be in tip-top shape for this other person'."

Scarlett has previously spoken out about how difficult it is to be a working mother, and she reveals shooting her new movie Ghost in the Shell was especially hard.

"I was in New Zealand with our daughter for six months," she continues. "The distance and the weight of the job itself were really hard on me. It was a big movie with a lot happening. I spent all day fighting people - and literally fighting with myself. I was battling with the character..."

However, she knows she is fortunate enough to be able to dictate how much she wants to work and be away from her family.

"It will probably get more challenging as she (Rose) gets older, once she's in school and her life is more established in one place," she adds. "It's a struggle for a lot of people, because we exist in this weird nomadic industry where almost everybody on a crew has a family, and it's hard. It's hard on relationships; it's hard on your partner, your kids, family in general, friends."