Is there no stopping Scarlett Johansson? Post this summer’s ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’, she’s got the new Coen brothers film ‘Hail, Caesar!’ coming up as well as Disney’s live action ‘Jungle Book’, another ‘Captain America’ film and ‘Ghost in the Shell’. Plus, she just had a baby… how does she fit it all in?
Off-screen, however, there is still lots we don’t know about her. For example, did you know Scarlett Johansson plays the kazoo? Because she does. More heart-stoppingly amazing ScarJo facts coming up. (Did you know she hates the nickname ScarJo? Because she does).
She was a child actress
Johansson has been an actress since the age of eight, when she appeared in a skit on the Conan O’Brien show in 1995 (she returned to Conan’s show almost exactly a decade later as a Golden Globe-nominated star).
Her first movie was opposite Elijah Wood in ‘North’, but she also starred in Sean Connery thriller ‘Just Cause’ (why? Just ‘cause) and threequel ‘Home Alone 3’. Scarlett got her big break in ‘The Horse Whisperer’ in 1998, where she was given an ‘introducing’ credit, despite already having six films to her name.
She’s had her fair share of near misses
Scarlett’s career has been one of equal parts wise choices and lucky breaks. For starters, she auditioned for Lindsay Lohan’s dual role in ‘The Parent Trap’, thereby avoiding that career trajectory. Once she’d established herself as an actress, she made smart choices, turning down forgettable roles in the likes of ‘Mission: Impossible III’ and ‘Superman Returns’. She landed her biggest payday quite fortuitously, however, when she was cast as Black Widow in the Marvel universe, only when Emily Blunt was forced to pull out.
She sings… and well!
With that alluring, gravelly voice, it’s no surprise Scarlett Johansson has put her pipes to good use with a sideline in singing. Though she’s hardly set the Billboard charts on fire, Johansson does have a fair amount of cred in the music industry: she auditioned for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s West End revival of The Sound Of Music and recorded an album of smoky Tom Waits covers – hardly the pout-first-write-songs-later career path followed by most wannabe singers. We just missed out on seeing Scarlett sing at the Academy Awards: her track ‘Before My Time’ on doc ‘Chasing Ice’ was Oscar-nominated.
She has weird crushes
A Hollywood siren in the classic mould, Scarlett Johansson has won more ‘Sexiest Woman’ awards than is healthy for a woman’s ego. However, her taste in men gives every man on the planet hope. As a girl, she had a crush on gawky pop prince David Bowie and later said she’d never date anyone under 30. As well as admitting she fancies Barack Obama, Scarlett’s biggest crush was reserved for David Hasselhoff, who she worked with on ‘The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie’: “I fancied him when I was young… He was a hunk back in those days.” Sadly gents, Johansson is engaged to handsome French journalist Romain Dauric and is carrying his baby. Oh well.
She is responsible for Katy Perry’s career
Save for maybe Angelina Jolie’s bee-stung smackers, Scarlett Johansson’s pouting lips are perhaps the most recognisable pair on the planet. In fact, they’re indirectly responsible for the career and popularity of pop star Katy Perry, who was inspired to write break-out hit ‘I Kissed A Girl’ after gazing upon Scarlett’s lips. When Johansson was informed that she had inadvertently unleashed Katy Perry on the world, Johansson said: “I had no idea… I should get a cut!” A lengthy legal squabble between the two women could be peacefully avoided if they’d only kiss and make up. Please?
She’s not afraid of her body
Scarlett has never been one for turning down screen nudity and bravely goes starkers for ‘Under The Skin’ (although you’d hardly call the naked scenes ‘sexy’ – more ‘incredibly disturbing and weird’). She’s also flashed the flesh in ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ (briefly, during a seductive dip in a swimming pool) and famously urged director Michael Bay to let her go bra-less in a sex scene in ‘The Island’ (it remained on to secure a PG-13 rating, proving once again that nothing good can come of pandering to teenagers). If you saw her relaxed reaction to having her boobs honked by a gay reporter at the 2006 Golden Globes, you’ll know Johansson is entirely comfortable with her body.
She’s also a director
Looks may fade but talent lasts, which is why Scarlett has begun a foray into moving behind the camera. Her first short film, ‘These Vagabond Shoes’ – starring Kevin Bacon as a man travelling the breadth of New York in search of the perfect hot dog – was shot as part of anthology ‘New York, I Love You’ but was unfortunately relegated to a DVD extra. However, Johansson will make her full directorial debut this year when she adapts Truman Capote’s first novel, Summer Crossing. She’s not one to do things by half, is she?
She likes her tattoos
Johansson loves her ink and has four tattoos (that we know of – let’s not imagine what else she might be hiding, or we’ll never get to the end of this article). Her most recent tattoo was a horseshoe design with the words ‘Lucky You’ which she had inked on her ribcage by artist Fuzi Uvtpk on a trip to Paris in 2012. That joins a small circular stamp of a sunset on her left arm, a charm bracelet design that hides the phrase ‘I Heart NY’ on her right wrist and an ankle tattoo of two interlinked circles with the letter ‘A’. Johansson claims all of her ink has special significance, which she’d rather not share. Fair enough.
She’s all about charity
Scarlett made the news after she starred in a Sodastream advertisement, which angered opponents who believed that her involvement with the Israeli-run company contravened with her work as an Oxfam ambassador. On this occasion, Johansson chose fizzy water over charity, but Scarlett has been a philanthropist as soon as her fame allowed it: she’s supported 27 charities including RED, Make Poverty History and Cancer Research UK, donated over 2,000 pairs of shoes to Soles4Souls and has provided aid work in Kenya and Rwanda. She even offered herself as a prize to a top bidder on eBay, who paid £20k to be her date to the premiere of ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’.
She likes her anonymity
“I dream that people stay far away from my private life,” Johansson says: it’s fair to say the star prefers the comfort of anonymity to life in the limelight. The press don’t always make that easy – in 2005 Scarlett crashed her Merc into a family car in a Disneyland parking lot trying to evade four paparazzi SUVs – but Johansson insists her private life stays private. However, that doesn’t stop her from enjoying the simple things in life, like going to the cinema: Johansson has admitted that she often dresses up as a man to go and see movies – even going so far as to wear a fake moustache and peeing in the men’s toilet.