Scarlett Johansson

“Some male actors are just golden. It’s sinful that people can be that good-looking, that kind, and exude that sort ofcharisma all at once. You should disburse the wealth a little bit.”

remotely like that when you were actually shooting. So it’s like seeing travel pictures of yourself, in places you’ve never been.”

In Spain, on the last location day (“the hottest day ever the closest to hell you can imagine”), Scarlett Johansson overheard a crew member make an anti-Semitic remark. The power of her response surprised her. “You know how when you ‘re a kid, you get on a rope swing, and you kind of wind it? I was just spinning. I was surprised because if I was going to make a list of five qualities that defined me, I wouldn’t have picked ‘Jewish.’ ’’ (For the record, those five qualities are: “Self-aware. Um, curious. Unsatisfied. Conservative. And I hate this word, I wish there’s a better word for it, but probably: sensual.”) “I couldn’t stop crying. It just felt like my senses were unraveling; I was thinking about all these stories my relatives told me, and it was so shocking for me to feel I had this emotional connection to that part of my culture, to things from before I was born.” Spain was filled with paparazzi, and the video someone caught of Scarlett Johansson crying ended up on the Internet, fueling new rumors. “That I was pregnant. Absurd things. It’s the only time I’ve ever been chased in a car. I was like, If you do this for me, what do you do with Madonna? What are you thinking?”

Yet Scarlett Johansson has had this strange experience : When she was nine, she was offered the kind of life where experts would work graveyard hours to make sure strangers know the way her lips look when she cracks a smile. At college, she’s tried to build a bridge between the two Natalies. (Fans on the prowl eventually phone and e-mail most other Natalies at her university. These Natalies are subjected to fans’ pets, favorite foods, hobbies. “I just wanted to let you know,” they’ll write, “that you inspired me to create a poem about what true beauty is.”) Scarlett Johansson friends are allowed into her work life. “I’m at a point where it’s comfortable. Where I don’t feel like I’m bragging or putting a gulf between my friends and me by talking about this stuff, where I even go to them for advice on projects: ‘Do you think it would be cheesy to do this?’ They’re confident people; they’re not jealous or competitive with me. I mean, I make mistakes. But the people who are there just to be shoulder-rubbers, you can basically tell, because they won’t talk to your other friends when you’re not around.”

The difficulty is that Scarlett Johansson wants a perfect version of both lives and won’t admit they may be mutually exclusive. “It’s also interesting. I mean, I’m fascinated by the fame part of it. My favorite actress is Julia Roberts. For ten years, she’s been the most popular actress in the country; I would love to talk to her about, what is it like to be Julia Roberts? She’s got that height thing that I don’t have, that automatically makes people look at you. So there’s an aspect that I’ll never know I’ll never be the most recognizable person walking down the street. It’s a different way of living, when everyone knows who you are: I mean, it’s like Cheers becomes the whole world.” Of course, this could all change after the movie opens, height or no. Scarlett Johansson smiles, sighs, presses her brows together. “Right. I hope it’ll be fine, and all work out, and I won’t have to, you know, move into a cave.”

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