Scarlett Johansson is an American model, film and stage actor, and singer who began her acting career at a very young age. She made her acting debut at the age of nine with the 1994 American comedy film North. With her career in the film industry spanning over two decades, the actress has appeared in several critical and commercially successful movies like The Horse Whisperer (1998), Ghost World (2001), Lost in Translation (2003), and The Prestige (2006). She is popularly known for essaying the role of Natasha Romanoff aka ‘Black Widow,’ in the silver screen adaptation of the Marvel comic movie series, Avengers. Considered as the Hollywood’s modern sex symbol, the talented actress has also released a music album viz. Anywhere I lay My Head and Break Up.
Johansson was born to Karsten Johansson, an architect, and Melanie Sloan, a producer in New York City. Her paternal grandfather, Ejner Johansson, was a director and screenwriter, and her mother’s ancestors were Jewish immigrants from Poland. The actress has one sister and three brothers namely, Vanessa, Adrian, Hunter, and an half-brother named Christian. Johansson attended the PS 41 elementary school in Manhattan and later graduated from the Professional Children’s School where she learned theater.
While Johansson attended the Professional Children’s School, she dated her classmate Jack Antonoff for a year from 2001 to 2002. A couple of years later she dated her Black Dahlia co-star, Josh Hartnett
for two years before eventually breaking up in 2006. Later, the actress dated and went on to marry the Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds
but after three years of marriage, the couple parted ways in 2011. However, while her divorce with Reynolds was yet to be finalized, Johansson dated the actor Sean Penn
; a relationship that was highly publicized but did not last long.
In September 2013, the actress got engaged to Frenchman Romain Dauraic, the owner of an independent advertising agency, whom she was dating since 2012. A couple of years later it was confirmed that Johansson gave birth to the couple’s first child in 2014. The duo got married on 1st October 2014 in Montana.
Johansson’s mother, Melanie, was keen on introducing her to the film world. Melanie would take her to auditions for commercials, however, Johansson could never handle rejections and so Melanie started taking her only to film tryouts. The actress made her debut at the age of nine in the fantasy comedy movie North that released in 1994. She rose to fame with her stellar performance in Lisa Kruger's Manny & Lo that released in 1996. Crediting her brilliant performance in the movie, San Francisco Chronicle critic LaSalle commented, “If she can get through puberty with that aura undisturbed, she could become an important actress."
Standing true to LaSalle’s thoughts, Johansson appeared as a child actress in various films, receiving appreciation for her acting abilities. It was in 2003 that the actress appeared in her first role as an adult in Sofia Coppola
’s Lost in Translation. Her role of a listless young woman in the movie was much appreciated by the critics. She followed this up with another formidable act in the movie Girl with a Pearl Earring. She was only 18 at the time and was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in Drama and the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
In 2004, the actress featured in three commercially and critically acclaimed movies viz. The Perfect Score directed by Brian Robbins
, In Good Company directed by Paul Weitz
, and A Love Song for Bobby Long directed by Shainee Gabel, which earned her the third Golden Globe nomination. The following year the actress was seen in just two movies with contrasting results. Her role in the Michael Bay's
The Island got negative reviews, while her role as Nola in the Woody Allen
movie Match Point earned her the fourth Golden Globe nomination. She next appeared in Scoop (2006) and The Black Dahlia (2006), and later was praised by acclaimed director Christopher Nolan
for her role in his movie The Prestige (2006) which was a critical and commercial hit.
Johansson collaborated with Allen for the third time in 2008 for his movie Vicky Christina Barcelona
, which also stars Javier Bardem
and Penelope Cruz
. The movie is one of Woody Allen’s most successful movies and it appeared in many critics’ list of Top Ten films of 2008. However, it was in the year 2009 Johansson's popularity skyrocketed when she was cast as Natasha Romanoff aka The Black Widow in the Marvel Comics’ movie adaption, Iron Man 2
. Johansson bagged the role only after the first choice, Emily Blunt
, rejected it. Johansson reprised the role of The Black Widow in The Avengers
(2012), Captain America: The Winter Soldier
(2014), Avengers: Age of Ultron
(2015), and Captain America: Civil War
(2016). She also starred as Janet Leigh in the Sacha Gervasi
's Hitchcock (2012), which showcases behind-the-scenes drama about the making of the iconic film, Psycho
(1960) directed by one of the greatest filmmakers of all-time, Alfred Hitchcock
In 2013 Johansson appeared in a bold role in Jonathan Glazer
's Under the Skin
. Her performance met with positive critical reception. The following year she was cast in the sci-fi movie Lucy
, which received largely positive reviews. Johansson next reprised the role of The Black Widow in the movie Captain America: Civil War, which released in April 2016. Her other 2016 project includes Sing
, an animated musical-comedy film directed by Garth Jennings
In May 2008, Johansson released her first studio album, Anywhere I Lay My Head. The album consists of one original song and ten covers. Her album received mixed reviews with the music magazine, Spin, commenting: “There's nothing particularly compelling about Scarlett Johansson's singing.” On the other hand, some critics praised her work.
Johansson has also done a cover such as “Last Goodbye,” by Jeff Buckley, which was used as a soundtrack in the movie, He’s Just Not That Into You. The singer-actress has also collaborated with singer-songwriter Pete Yorn and recorded the album Break Up (2009). “Bullet” from the album Terrible Thrills Vol 1, “One Whole Hour” – soundtrack of the documentary film Wretches & Jabberers, and “Before My Time” – J. Ralph’s track for the documentary Chasing Ice are some of the other songs to Johansson’s credit.
The singer also formed a band named The Singles in 2015 along with consisting Este Haim, Kendra Morris, Holly Miranda, and Julia Haltigan. The band has also released their first single titled, Candy.
In 1993, Johansson made her stage debut at the young age of eight with an Off-Broadway play, Sophistry. However, the actress made her Broadway debut only 17 years later in the drama, A View from the Bridge, directed by Gregory Mosher and written by Arthur Miller. Three years later Johansson appeared in another Broadway play, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, which received mix critical reviews.