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Scarlett Johansson’s Impressive Movie Career Led Her to ‘Black Widow’

I’m sure you recognize Scarlett Johansson from her years-long portrayal of Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Or, perhaps you’ve heard that she was the highest-paid actress of 2019. There is no doubt that Scarlett has one of the most impressive careers in entertainment, as she is one of only 12 actors to have been nominated for two Academy Awards in the same year

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Let’s take a deep dive into Scarlett Johansson’s past projects to see what has led her to her role in the highly-anticipated Black Widow and how she’s earned her status as one of the top actors in Hollywood!

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About Scarlett Johansson 

Scarlett Johansson was born in 1984 in Manhattan to parents Ejner Johansson, an architect, and Melanie Sloan, a producer. Scarlett Johansson has an older brother and sister, and a twin brother named Hunter. 

Growing up in New York City, Scarlett Johansson aspired to be an actress one day. Her first stage role came when she was only eight years old, her first film role when she was nine. She attended the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute and Professional Children’s School, where many child actors studied. Fun fact: Scarlett Johansson dated singer, songwriter, and producer Jack Antonoff when the two attended PCS! 

While Scarlett Johansson was starring in blockbuster films, she gave birth to her daughter Rose Dorothy Dauriac in 2014. Scarlett met now-husband actor and comedian Colin Jost on the set of Saturday Night Live. The two began dating in 2017, became engaged in 2019, and got married in October 2020. It is rumored that the couple is expecting their first child together, though this has not been confirmed by Scarlett or Colin.

How Scarlett Johansson got her start in Hollywood 

When Scarlett Johansson attended school at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, she began auditioning for roles in commercials. She soon realized that she wanted to star in films and on stage. 

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In 1994, Scarlett Johansson made her film debut with the comedy-drama North. Scarlett plays Laura, the daughter of John Ritter’s character Ward. She then starred as Kate in the 1995 crime thriller Just Cause and Emily in the 1996 rom-com If Lucy Fell. Scarlett Johansson landed her first lead film role in 1996 with Manny & Lo.

Scarlett Johansson’s music career 

What many people may not know about Scarlett Johansson is that she has had a years-long music career. Scarlett was featured on the 2006 compilation album Unexpected Dreams— Songs from the Stars where she sang “Summertime.” In 2007, she performed at Coachella with the Scottish band The Jesus and Mary Chain.

Scarlett Johansson’s debut album Anywhere I Lay My Head came out in 2008. She then released her album Break Up with Pete Yorn in 2009, and most recently, put out an EP with Pete Yorn called Apart in 2018. In 2015, Scarlett formed a band called the Singles with Haim’s Este Haim, Holly Miranda, Kendra Morris, and Julia Haltigan. That year, the group released a single titled “Candy.”

Scarlett Johansson’s singing career has intersected with her acting. When she starred in He’s Just Not That Into You (2009), she played an aspiring singer. Scarlett also sang on the soundtracks for The Jungle Book (2016) and Sing (206), both in which she starred. 

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Scarlett Johansson on Broadway 

Around the same time that Scarlett Johansson made her film acting debut, she starred in the off-Broadway play Sophistry alongside actor, writer, and director Ethan Hawke

In 2009, Scarlett Johansson made her Broadway debut in a revival of the one-act play A View from the Bridge, written by Arthur Miller. Scarlett starred alongside Liev Schreiber in this drama. In 2010, she won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play.

Scarlett Johansson also starred in the 2013 Broadway revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. This play was written by Tennessee Williams originally starred Burl Ives and won a Pulitzer Prize.

Scarlett Johansson movies: Manny & Lo (1996) 

The 1996 comedy-drama Manny & Lo marked Scarlett Johansson’s first lead role in a feature film. Scarlett played Manny and starred alongside Aleksa Palladino (Lo) and Mary Kay Place (Elaine).

The film, directed by Lisa Krueger follows sisters Manny and Lo on their journeys running away from their foster homes. When Lo gets pregnant, they kidnap a baby store employee named Elaine to help them live on their own. 

In 1997, Scarlett Johansson was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead. 

Manny & Lo is available to watch on Starz.

Scarlett Johansson movies: The Horse Whisperer (1998) 

Scarlett Johansson began to garner critical attention with her role in The Horse Whisperer. The Western drama was directed by Robert Redford (who also stars in the film) and is based on the 1995 novel of the same name. The film also stars Kristin Scott Thomas and Sam Neill.

Scarlett Johansson plays Grace MacLean, a teenager who is severely injured in a horseback riding incident. Grace is then left with a partially amputated leg and has a hard time recovering emotionally from the incident. Her mom (Kristin Scott Thomas) then hires a horse whisperer (Robert Redford) who works to heal Grace and her horse, Pilgrim.

Scarlett Johansson received a Chicago Films Critics Association nomination for Most Promising Actress and a Young Artist Award nomination for Best Performance in a Feature Film: Leading Young Actress. 

Scarlett Johansson movies: Lost in Translation (2003) 

Scarlett Johansson’s portrayal of Charlotte in the rom-com Lost in Translation was considered to be one of her first “adult” roles. Directed by Sofia Coppola, the film also stars Bill Murray, Giovanni Ribisi, and Anna Faris. 

Scarlett Johansson plays a recent college graduate who meets American actor Bob Harris (Bill Murray) while the two are visiting Tokyo. Both married, the two begin to bond when they meet each other at their hotel. They form an unlikely friendship and spend the remainder of their time in Tokyo together until Bob leaves the city.

The film won Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy at the 2004 Golden Globe Awards. Scarlett Johansson was nominated for a Golden Globe herself and took home multiple awards including a New York Film Critics Online Award for Best Supporting Actress, and a Venice Film Festival Upstream Prize for Best Actress.

Lost in Translation is available to watch on Starz

Scarlett Johansson movies: Girl With a Pearl Earring (2003) 

Scarlett Johansson starred in the drama Girl With a Pearl Earring as Griet. The film, directed by Peter Webber is based on the 1999 historical novel of the same name, which draws inspiration from the 1665 painting by Johannes Vermeer. The film also stars Colin Firth, Tom Wilkinson, and Judy Parfitt. 

Griet is a servant who is sent to work for Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer (Colin Firth). While working for the famed painter, Griet begins to receive painting lessons from him. As the two begin to form a relationship, Vermeer decides he will paint of picture of Griet wearing his daughter’s pearl earrings for one of his rich patrons. This causes tension between Vermeer’s daughter and the rest of the household and ends Griet’s time working for Vermeer.

Scarlett Johansson was nominated for a Golden Globe for her work in the film. She received a Los Angeles Film Critics Association New Generation Award and a Palm Springs International Film Festival Rising Star Award for her work in both Girl With a Pearl Earring and Lost in Translation.