Scarlett Johansson

3 03 2007

Scarlett JohanssonScarlett Johansson (born November 22, 1984) is an American actress. She rose to fame with her role in 1998’s The Horse Whisperer and subsequently gained critical acclaim for her roles in Ghost World, Lost in Translation and Girl with a Pearl Earring, the latter two earning her Golden Globe Award nominations in 2003. She has been named the “sexiest” or “most beautiful” woman alive by several publications.

Early life

Johansson was born in New York City. Her father, Karsten Johansson, is a Danish architect, and her paternal grandfather, Ejner Johansson, was a screenwriter and director. Her mother, Melanie Sloan, comes from a Bronx-bred Jewish American family, and met Karsten Johansson while living in Denmark with Scarlett Johansson’s maternal grandmother, Dorothy, a former bookkeeper and schoolteacher. Johansson has an older sister, Vanessa, who is also an actress; an older brother, Adrian; a twin brother, Hunter, also an actor; and a half-brother, Christian.

Johansson began her theater training by attending and graduating from Professional Children’s School in Manhattan in 2002.

CareerCareer

After appearing in several films during the late 1990s, Johansson garnered praise and widespread attention for her performance in 1998’s The Horse Whisperer and 2001’s Ghost World. She won a Best Actress Award at the Venice Film Festival for her performance as Charlotte in 2003’s Lost in Translation. The same year, she was nominated for two best actress awards at the Golden Globes, one for drama (Girl with a Pearl Earring) and one for comedy (Lost in Translation). She was also nominated for best actress for both films at the BAFTAs, and won best actress for Lost in Translation.

Johansson was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in June of 2004. In the same year, she starred in the films The Perfect Score, In Good Company and A Love Song for Bobby Long, the last of which earned her a third Golden Globe Award nomination. Johansson was involved for a short time with the film Mission: Impossible III, but was not officially cast because of scheduling conflicts, although a falling out with the film’s star, Tom Cruise, had been both widely reported and publicly denied. She was replaced by Keri Russell.

In July 2005, Johansson starred with Ewan McGregor in the Michael Bay-directed The Island, making her debut as a female lead in a mainstream action film. She drew attention to both the film and herself when she proposed to appear topless in the film’s sex scene, but director Bay disapproved, wanting to keep the film at a PG-13 rating. In the same year, she starred in the Woody Allen-directed drama Match Point, which opened in December. Johansson received her fourth Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress for the role but lost to Rachel Weisz. Johansson’s next film, Scoop, another collaboration with Woody Allen, was released on 28 July 2006. The same year, she appeared in director Brian De Palma’s The Black Dahlia, a film noir shot in Los Angeles and Bulgaria. Johansson has noted that she was a fan of De Palma and had wanted to work with him on the film, despite her belief that she was “physically wrong” for the part. Her reviews were mixed: CNN.com positively noted that Johansson “takes to the pulpy period atmosphere as if it were oxygen”, whereas another reviewer referred to Johansson as “miscast”.

Johansson’s most recent role was in the thriller The Prestige, which opened on October 20, 2006. She has also completed filming on the yet be released film version of The Nanny Diaries along side Alicia Keys, and has been cast opposite Natalie Portman and Eric Bana in The Other Boleyn Girl, playing Mary Boleyn, the sister of Portman’s character. Filming is scheduled to begin in London in October 2006 for a 2007 release. Johansson will also play Mary, Queen of Scots, in a film scheduled to begin production by the end of summer 2007.

Other works

Johansson endorsed the Calvin Klein perfume “eternity Moment” and was featured in several commercials and printed advertisements for the product. One of the commercials was featured in her 2005 film The Island. Further establishing her position in Hollywood, she became the face and spokesperson for the French luxury brand Louis Vuitton in early 2005 and in January 2006 was named the spokesperson of L’Oreal.

Johansson appeared on the controversial cover of the February 2006 issue of Vanity Fair in the nude with fellow Hollywood “it girl” Keira Knightley and world-renowned fashion designer Tom Ford. In March of 2006, she topped the U.S. edition of FHM’s poll of the sexiest women alive (in the UK edition Johansson was third). In May of 2006, Maxim named Johansson #6 in their Hot 100 issue, and in July of 2006, Reebok signed a deal with Johansson to co-create “Scarlett ‘Hearts’ Rbk”, athletic footwear scheduled for a debut in the spring of 2007. Johansson will also be featured in Reebok’s global women’s advertising campaign, also in the spring of 2007. The company’s press releases described Johansson as a “world renowned style icon” and an “inspiration for today’s young women”. In November 2006, Johansson was named “Sexiest Woman Alive” by Esquire magazine.

In 2006, Johansson starred in a short film directed by Bennett Miller and set to Bob Dylan’s “When the Deal Goes Down…”, released to promote Dylan’s album, Modern Times. Between 2005 and 2006, she also sang the track “Summertime” for Unexpected Dreams – Songs from the Stars, a non-profit collection of songs recorded by Hollywood actors, and was in talks to appear in a stage version of The Sound of Music.

In October 2006, FoxNews reported that Johansson has signed to record a music album with Rhino Entertainment’s Atco Records, with a possible release date of Spring 2007. The album, entitled Scarlett Sings Tom Waits, will consist entirely of Johansson’s cover versions of Tom Waits songs.Johansson is also the leading lady in the current Justin Timberlake music video “What Goes Around…”

Personal life

Johansson is a Democrat and campaigned for John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election. She was later quoted as saying, of George W. Bush’s re-election, that “[she was] disappointed. I think it was a disappointment for a large percentage of the population.” Johansson has also taken part in an anti-poverty campaign which was organised by U2 lead singer Bono.

Johansson has previously stated that she has a connection to older men, and could not see herself dating anyone under the age of thirty. She has also noted that she does not discuss “any part” of her personal life with the press, specifying that she feels “it’s nice to have everybody not know your business”. However, this has not stopped Johansson from sharing “select” opinions and personal details. Johansson’s ex-boyfriend (and member of the band Steel Train), Jack Antonoff, has included negative lyrics that refer to Johansson in his band’s song “Better Love”. Antonoff also references Johansson in the song 2 O’clock. She has been linked to many famous men, including Derek Jeter, Benicio Del Toro, Jared Leto and most notably her The Black Dahlia co-star Josh Hartnett. The pair dated for around two years until the end of 2006, with Josh citing their busy professional lives as the reason for the split.

Johansson has repeatedly said that she does not believe in monogamy or monandry, and that it is not human nature to be with just one person but “contrary to popular belief… [she is] not promiscuous” and she works “really hard” when she is in a relationship “to make it work in a monogamous way”. She gets tested for HIV twice a year, and has specified that she feels “it’s part of being a decent human” and that she finds it “disgusting” and “irresponsible” when people do not do so.

Johansson has claimed to be addicted to cheese, saying: “My greatest vice is cheese. Nothing else reigns over my life”. She has criticized the media and Hollywood for promoting an image that causes unhealthy diets and eating disorders among women, saying that she thinks “that being ultra-thin is not sexy at all. Women shouldn’t be forced to conform to unrealistic and unhealthy body images that the media promote”.

When asked about her current religious affiliation, Johansson has answered: “That’s a very personal question. I would rather not answer”. She has, however, specified that she celebrates “Chrismakkuh,” a “little of both” Hanukkah and Christmas. She has noted that she dislikes it when celebrities thank God or Jesus in their award acceptance speeches.

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