Johansson nació en la ciudad de Nueva York el 22 de noviembre de 1984. Su padre, Karsten Johannson es originario de Dinamarca y arquitecto de profesión, y su madre Melanie Sloan es productora de cine y proviene de una familia de origen askenazí del condado neoyorquino del Bronx. Su abuelo paterno, Ejner Johansson fue guionista y director cinematográfico. Johansson tiene doble ciudadanía, la estadounidense y la danesa. Sus padres se conocieron en Dinamarca, cuando su progenitora vivía con su abuela Dorothy, quien era bibliotecaria y profesora de una escuela en ese país. La actriz tiene una hermana mayor llamada Vanessa, quien también es actriz, un hermano llamado Adrian, un hermano mellizo conocido como Hunter, quien también se desempeña como actor, y un hermanastro del segundo matrimonio de su padre llamado Christian.
Desde su niñez se preparó para ser actriz y para ello estudió primero en el Professional's Children School de Manhattan y cuando fue un poco mayor en el prestigioso Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute. Después de haberse presentado a varios castings para anuncios de televisión, Scarlett debutó en el teatro a los ocho años. A partir de ahí, consiguió varios papeles cinematográficos de personajes secundarios hasta alcanzar su primer rol protagónico como Amanda en Manny & Lo de Lisa Krueger.
Scarlett no fue una estrella infantil como los demás niños prodigio de Hollywood. Uno de sus primeros papeles determinantes fue interpretar a Kate Armstrong, la hija de Sean Connery en una película de acción y suspense, Causa justa de Arne Glimcher, pero no tuvo mucho éxito. Aunque continuó su carrera cinematográfica, no volvió a conseguir un papel destacado hasta cuatro años después. El actor y director Robert Redford la eligió para el papel de Grace MacLean, una niña que se queda discapacitada tras caerse de un caballo en El hombre que susurraba a los caballos. Fue en ese momento cuando Scarlett Johansson dejó la adolescencia a un lado y se convirtió en una actriz más madura capaz de interpretar variados papeles.
En 2001 tiene un papel de reparto en El hombre que nunca estuvo allí de los hermanos Coen, Johansson hace el papel de "Birdy", una pianista amiga del protagonista (Billy Bob Thornton). Ese mismo año coprotagoniza Ghost World, junto a Thora Birch y Steve Buscemi, una exitosa comedia dramática que terminaría siendo considerada de culto para muchos. Johansson dice acerca de Ghost World y su personaje: «Rebbeca es una chica realmente inteligente, y un poco diferente al resto (...) Esta no es una típica película de adolescentes».
Es en el año 2003, cuando Scarlett obtiene proyección internacional y empieza a ser reconocida en los medios de comunicación. En La joven de la perla de Peter Webber, basada en la novela de Tracy Chavalier que trata sobre un famoso cuadro de Johannes Vermeer, la interpretación de Scarlett como Griet es celebrada por la crítica. Este film fue el más exitoso que había interpretado hasta entonces, pero al estrenarse Lost in translation de Sofia Coppola, Johansson (en el papel de Charlotte) vuelve a llamar la atención de la crítica. Este filme independiente, que protagoniza junto a Bill Murray, recibió cuatro nominaciones a los premios Óscar de la Academia de Artes Cinematográficas de Estados Unidos. Otro éxito como actriz se lo proporcionó Match Point de Woody Allen, donde interpreta a la hermosa Nola Rice, papel por el que fue nominada a mejor actriz secundaria en los Globos de Oro de 2006, premio que finalmente se llevó Rachel Weisz, por su papel de Tessa Quayle en El jardinero fiel de Fernando Meirelles. En 2006 trabajó con Brian de Palma en La Dalia Negra, adaptación de la famosa novela de James Ellroy, y ha vuelto a trabajar con Woody Allen en sus dos últimas películas; la comedia Scoop y en Vicky Cristina Barcelona, donde compartió protagonismo con los españoles Javier Bardem y Penélope Cruz.
Desde entonces, Johansson ha mantenido un ritmo constante de trabajo tanto en el cine como modelo de anuncios publicitarios.
Johansson pertenece al grupo de actores contrarios a la política de Bush como por ejemplo: Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Sean Penn, Richard Gere, Angelina Jolie, George Clooney, Charlize Theron, Rachel Weisz, Woody Harrelson, Tommy Lee Jones, Marisa Tomei, Diane Kruger o Cameron Díaz, entre otros.
Scarlett anunció su compromiso con el también actor Ryan Reynolds en mayo de 2008 en una gala del Museo Metropolitano de Arte en Nueva York. La pareja había estado en una relación desde febrero 2007. El 28 de septiembre de 2008, la pareja anunció a la revista People que se había casado en la más estricta intimidad en las afueras de Vancouver, Canadá.
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Scarlett Johansson was born in New York City (22 November 1984).
Her father, Karsten Johansson, is a Danish-born architect, and her paternal grandfather, Ejner Johansson, was a screenwriter and director. Her mother, Melanie Sloan, a producer, comes from an Ashkenazi Jewish family from the Bronx. Johansson's parents met in Denmark, where her mother lived with Johansson's maternal grandmother, Dorothy, a former bookkeeper and schoolteacher. Johansson has an older sister, Vanessa, who is an actress; an older brother, Adrian; a twin brother, Hunter (who appeared in the film Manny & Lo with Scarlett); and an older half-brother, Christian, from her father's first marriage.
Johansson grew up in a household with "little money," and with a mother who was a "film buff." She and her brother, Hunter, attended P.S. 41 in Greenwich Village in elementary school. Johansson began her theater training by attending and graduating from Professional Children's School in Manhattan in 2002.
Johansson began acting during childhood, after her mother started taking her to auditions. She made her film debut at age nine, as John Ritter's daughter in the 1994 fantasy comedy North. Following minor roles in the 1995 film Just Cause, as the daughter of Sean Connery and Kate Capshaw, and If Lucy Fell in 1996, she played the role of Amanda in Manny & Lo (1996). Her performance in Manny & Lo garnered a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Female, and positive reviews, one noting, "[the film] grows on you, largely because of the charm of ... Scarlett Johansson", while San Francisco Chronicle critic Mick LaSalle commented on her "peaceful aura", and wrote, "If she can get through puberty with that aura undisturbed, she could become an important actress."
After appearing in minor roles in Fall and Home Alone 3 in 1997, Johansson garnered widespread attention for her performance in the 1998 film The Horse Whisperer, directed by Robert Redford. She received a nomination for the Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Actress for the film. In 1999, she appeared in both My Brother the Pig and the neo-noir Coen brothers film The Man Who Wasn't There. Although the film was not a box office success, she received praise for her breakout role in the 2001 film, Ghost World. Credited with "sensitivity and talent [that] belie her age". In 2002, Johansson appeared in the comedy-horror thriller Eight Legged Freaks, starring David Arquette.
Scarlett Johansson made the transition from teen roles to adult roles, with two such roles in 2003. In the Sofia Coppola film Lost in Translation, she played Charlotte, an abandoned young wife, opposite Bill Murray. Roger Ebert wrote that he loved the film and described the performances of Johansson and Murray as "wonderful." The New York Times said, "At 18, the actress gets away with playing a 25-year-old woman by using her husky voice to test the level of acidity in the air ... Ms. Johansson is not nearly as accomplished a performer as Mr. Murray, but Ms. Coppola gets around this by using Charlotte's simplicity and curiosity as keys to her character." Johansson won the BAFTA Award and was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for the role. She received nominations from a number of film critic organizations.
Johansson played Griet in Peter Webber's Girl with a Pearl Earring. While noting, "Audiences feel as if they are spying on a moment of artistic inspiration when painter Vermeer creates the title work", USA Today praised her, suggesting, "[She] is having a banner year that Oscar voters should recognize." In his review for the New Yorker, Anthony Lane said, "What keeps Webber’s movie alive is the tenseness of the setup ... and, above all, the presence of Johansson. She is often wordless and close to plain onscreen, but wait for the ardor with which she can summon a closeup and bloom under its gaze; this is her film, not Vermeer’s, all the way." She was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama and the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. She was also nominated by the London Film Critics' Circle, the Phoenix Film Critics Society and the British Independent Film Awards.
Johansson was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in June 2004. In the same year, she voiced a role in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and appeared in an adaptation of Oscar Wilde's Lady Windermere's Fan entitled A Good Woman, opposite Helen Hunt and Tom Wilkinson. It received a limited U.S. release, and was both a box office and critical failure. It was described by the New York Times as a "misbegotten Hollywood-minded screen adaptation" with "an excruciating divide between the film's British actors (led by Tom Wilkinson and Stephen Campbell Moore), who are comfortable delivering Wilde's aphorisms ... and its American marquee names, Helen Hunt and Scarlett Johansson, [who have] little connection to the English language as spoken in the high Wildean style." She also appeared in the critically-panned, teen, heist film The Perfect Score and in In Good Company, in a supporting role opposite Topher Grace and Dennis Quaid. Her performance in the dark, Southern drama, A Love Song for Bobby Long, earned her a third Golden Globe for Best Actress nomination.
In July 2005, Johansson starred, with Ewan McGregor, in Michael Bay's science fiction film, The Island, in dual roles as Sarah Jordan and her clone, Jordan Two Delta. The film was a domestic financial failure and received mixed critical reviews. In contrast, her role as Nola, the American actress with whom Chris (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is obsessed, in the Woody Allen-directed drama Match Point, was well-received. Johansson received her fourth Golden Globe nomination.
In another collaboration with Allen, Johansson was cast opposite Hugh Jackman and Allen in the 2006 feature, Scoop. While the film enjoyed a modest worldwide box office success, it received mixed reviews by critics. The same year, she appeared in Brian De Palma's The Black Dahlia, a film noir shot in Los Angeles and Bulgaria.
Johansson next had a supporting role in the Christopher Nolan thriller The Prestige (2006), again opposite Hugh Jackman as well as Christian Bale. Nolan, who described Johansson as possessing an "ambiguity... a shielded quality", said he was "very keen" for her to play the role. Also 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. Johansson starred in 2007's The Nanny Diaries, alongside Laura Linney. The film performed only marginally well at the box office, and was critically-panned.
In 2008, she starred in The Other Boleyn Girl, opposite Natalie Portman and Eric Bana. She filmed her third Woody Allen film, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, in Spain, appearing opposite Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz. The film was one of Allen's most profitable and appeared on many critics' top ten lists of the best films of 2008. Johansson played Silken Floss, a femme fatale and ally of Samuel L. Jackson's villain The Octopus, in Frank Miller's film noir, comedy adaptation of The Spirit. The film, described as "a great-looking movie with an awkward balance of pulp noir and campy self-awareness" and "style without substance, style whirling in a senseless void", received mostly poor reviews.
Johansson appeared in the role of Anna, a yoga instructor, in the 2009 ensemble cast of He's Just Not That Into You, with Jennifer Connelly, Bradley Cooper, Drew Barrymore and Kevin Connolly.
In March 2009, Johansson signed on to play Natasha Romanoff in Iron Man 2 after a scheduling conflict forced Emily Blunt to drop out of the part. The film, released in May 2010, was directed by Jon Favreau and also starred Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke, Samuel L. Jackson and Sam Rockwell.
Johansson made her debut on Broadway, as Catherine Carbone in the drama A View from the Bridge, written by Arthur Miller and directed by Gregory Mosher. Liev Schreiber played opposite her. Johansson was nominated for and won the 2010 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play for her role in the play.
Johansson has appeared in advertising campaigns for Calvin Klein, L'Oréal, Louis Vuitton and has been the face of Spanish brand Mango and Dolce & Gabbana since 2009.
Released on May 8, 2006, Johansson sang the track "Summertime" for Unexpected Dreams – Songs From the Stars, a non-profit collection of songs recorded by Hollywood actors. She performed with The Jesus and Mary Chain for a special Coachella Reunion Show in Indio, California in April 2007.
In 2007, she appeared as the leading lady in Justin Timberlake's music video, for "What Goes Around.../...Comes Around", which was nominated in August 2007 for video of the year at the MTV Video Music Awards.
In mid-2007, Johansson spent about a month in Maurice, Louisiana recording an album at Dockside Studio. The album, consisting of one original song and ten cover versions of Tom Waits songs, was produced by Dave Sitek of TV on the Radio and features David Bowie, members from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Celebration. Released on May 20, 2008, it was entitled Anywhere I Lay My Head. "I had this golden opportunity to record and thought I would do maybe an album of standards, because I’m not a songwriter. I’m a vocalist."
Released on September 8, 2009, she and singer/songwriter Pete Yorn recorded a collaborative album, Break Up, inspired by Serge Gainsbourg's duets with Brigitte Bardot.
Johansson rarely discusses her personal life with the press, saying, "It's nice to have everybody not know your business." Johansson's ex-boyfriend, and member of the band Steel Train, Jack Antonoff, wrote lyrics that refer to Johansson in the song "Better Love." She has been linked to many famous men, including Benicio del Toro, Jared Leto, Justin Timberlake, and her Black Dahlia co-star Josh Hartnett, though Johansson denies she had a relationship with del Toro. Johansson and Hartnett dated for about two years until the end of 2006, with Hartnett citing their busy lives as the reason for the split.
She started dating Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds in 2007, and on May 5, 2008, it was reported that the two were engaged. On September 27, 2008, Johansson and Reynolds were married at a quiet ceremony near Tofino, British Columbia.
She has criticized the media and Hollywood for promoting an image that causes unhealthy diets and eating disorders among women, saying, "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."
Johansson is considered a "peerless sex symbol". Maxim named Johansson #6 in their Hot 100 Issue in 2006; #3 in 2007 and #2 in 2008. In November 2006, Johansson was named "Sexiest Woman Alive" by Esquire. In February 2007, she was named the "Sexiest Celebrity" of the year by Playboy. During the filming of Match Point, director Woody Allen described Johansson as "sexually overwhelming", saying that he found it "very hard to be extra witty around a sexually overwhelming, beautiful young woman who is wittier than you are."
About her religious affiliation, Johansson described herself as Jewish when she was talking about Woody Allen: "I just adore Woody," she says. "We have a lot in common. We're New Yorkers, Jewish. We have a very easygoing relationship."
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