Scarlett Ingrid Johansson (/dʒoʊˈhænsən/; born November 22, 1984) is an American actress and singer. Johansson is the world’s highest-paid actress, has made multiple appearances in the Forbes Celebrity 100, and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She aspired to be an actress from a young age, and first appeared on stage in an Off-Broadway play as a child. Johansson made her film debut in the fantasy comedy North (1994), and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Manny & Lo (1996). She gained further recognition for her work in The Horse Whisperer (1998) and Ghost World (2001).
Johansson shifted to adult roles in 2003 with her performances in Lost in Translation, which won her a BAFTA Award for Best Actress, and Girl with a Pearl Earring. She was nominated for four Golden Globe Awards for these films, and for playing an estranged teenager in the drama A Love Song for Bobby Long (2004), and a seductress in the psychological thriller Match Point (2005). Other films during this period, include the mystery thriller The Prestige (2006) and the comedy-drama Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008). She also released two albums: Anywhere I Lay My Head (2008) and Break Up (2009), both of which charted on the Billboard 200.
In 2010, Johansson debuted on Broadway in a revival of A View from the Bridge, which won her a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress. Later that year, she began portraying Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She voiced an intelligent computer operating system in the 2013 comedy-drama Her, and played an alien in the 2013 science fiction film Under the Skin, and a woman with psychokinetic abilities in the 2014 science fiction action Lucy. She was the highest-grossing actress of 2016, and is also the highest-grossing actress of all time in North America in nominal dollar terms.
As a public figure, Johansson is a Hollywood sex symbol. She is a prominent celebrity brand endorser, and also supports various charities and causes. She has been married twice, to the Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds from 2008 to 2011 and the French businessman Romain Dauriac, with whom she has a daughter, from 2014 to 2017.
Recent work (2014–present)
Continuing her work in the MCU, Johansson reprised her role as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow in Marvel Studios’ Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014). In the film, she joins forces with Captain America (Chris Evans) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) to uncover a conspiracy within S.H.I.E.L.D., while facing a mysterious assassin known as the Winter Soldier. Johansson and Evans wrote their own dialogue for several scenes they had together. Johansson was attracted to her character’s way of doing her job, employing her feminine wiles and not her physical appeal. The film was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $714 million worldwide. Critic Odie Henderson saw “a genuine emotional shorthand at work, especially from Johansson, who is excellent here”. The role earned her a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress nomination.
Johansson played a supporting role in the film Chef (2014), alongside Robert Downey, Jr., Sofía Vergara, and director Jon Favreau. It grossed over $45 million at the box office and was well received by critics. The Chicago Sun-Times writer Richard Roeper found the film “funny, quirky and insightful, with a bounty of interesting supporting characters”. In Luc Besson’s science fiction action film Lucy (2014), Johansson starred as the title character, who gains psychokinetic abilities when a nootropic drug is absorbed into her bloodstream. Besson discussed the role with several actresses, and cast Johansson based on her strong reaction to the script and her discipline. Critics generally praised the film’s themes, visuals, and Johansson’s performance; some found the plot nonsensical. IGN’s Jim Vejvoda attributed the film’s success to her acting and Besson’s style. The film grossed $458 million on a budget of $40 million to become the 18th highest-grossing film of 2014.
In 2015 and 2016, Johansson again played Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow in the MCU films Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War. During filming of the former, a mixture of close-ups, concealing costumes, stunt doubles and visual effects were used to hide her pregnancy. Both films earned more than $1.1 billion, ranking among the highest-grossing films of all time. For Captain America: Civil War, Johansson earned her second nomination for Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Actress in an Action Movie and her fourth for Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress. Earlier in 2016, Johansson had featured in the Coen brothers’ well-received comedy film Hail, Caesar! about a “fixer” working in the classical Hollywood cinema, trying to discover what happened to a cast member who vanished during the filming of a biblical epic; Johansson plays an actress who becomes pregnant while her film is in production. She also voiced the character Kaa in Disney’s live-action remake of The Jungle Book, and Ash in the animated musical comedy film Sing (both 2016).
Johansson played Motoko Kusanagi in Rupert Sanders’s 2017 film adaptation of the Ghost in the Shell franchise. The film was praised for its visual style, acting, and cinematography, but was controversial for whitewashing the cast, particularly Johansson’s character, a cyborg who was meant to hold the memories of a Japanese woman. Responding to the criticism, she said she would never play a person of another race, but wanted to take the rare opportunity to star in a franchise with a female protagonist. The film grossed $169.8 million worldwide against a production budget of $110 million. In March 2017, Johansson hosted Saturday Night Live for the fifth time, making her the 17th person, and the fourth woman,[c] to enter the NBC sketch comedy’s prestigious Five-Timers Club. Johansson’s next 2017 film was the comedy Rough Night, where she played Jess Thayer, one of the five friends—alongside Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer, and Zoë Kravitz—whose bachelorette party goes wrong after a male stripper dies. The film had a mixed critical reception and moderate box office returns.
In 2018, Johansson voiced show dog Nutmeg in Wes Anderson’s stop-motion animated film Isle of Dogs, released in March, and reprised her MCU role as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow in Avengers: Infinity War, which followed the next month. Johansson was due to star in Rub & Tug, a biographical film in which she would have played Dante “Tex” Gill, a transgender man who operated a massage parlor and prostitution ring in the 1970s and 1980s. She dropped out of the project after backlash against the casting of a cisgender woman playing a transgender person.
In October 2014, it was announced that Johansson will star in and executive-produce the upcoming eight-episode period series The Custom of the Country, based on Edith Wharton’s 1913 novel of the same name. She is set to play Undine Spragg, a young woman from the Midwest who tries to climb her way up the New York City social ladder. Johansson will star alongside Adam Driver in Noah Baumbach’s currently untitled film, She will also play Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow in Avengers: Endgame, the fourth in the series, scheduled for May 2019, and in her own solo film directed by Cate Shortland.