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Scarlett Johansson is versatility personified

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JOHANSSON. Portrays iconic character onstage.

Scarlett Johansson was the only rose among the thorns in last year’s “The Avengers,” playing the Black Widow in the actioner populated by costume-clad super he-men. Next year, the lovely assassin she portrays will be seen again in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”

The role, coveted as it is, doesn’t come with a lot of dramatic challenges that allow Johansson to spread her thespic wings, but it has since boosted her box-office cachet—which allows the 28-year-old ingénue to accept more challenging roles in daring, low-budget indies, like the racy Sundance entry, “Don Jon,” Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s feature-length directorial debut.

Instinct

The actress also topbills Jonathan Glazer’s big-screen incarnation of Michel Faber’s darkly satirical novel, “Under The Skin”—about “an extraterrestrial sent to Earth to turn gullible hitchhikers into a scrumptious delicacy for her barren planet.”

As far as creating characters is concerned, Johansson once shared that she puts a piece of herself into every role she’s tasked to breathe life into: “Even when you’re playing someone psychotic, a part of you is in the character—and it’s hopefully believable. I always come back to the fact that my own instinct is better than something that I merely create in my mind!”

Challenges keep the actress on her toes: After her award-worthy turns in the movies, “Lost in Translation,” “Girl With A Pearl Earring” and “A Love Song for Bobby Long,” she further expanded her acting horizons when she debuted on Broadway to glowing reviews, in the revival of Arthur Miller’s “A View From The Bridge”—and won a Tony for her effort!

This theater season, she returns to the legitimate stage in another iconic character—as Maggie the Cat, in Tennessee Williams’ “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.”  We’ll be in New York tomorrow to see if the brave actress measures up to high expectations!

Recently, we’ve “discovered” another fascinating facet of Johansson’s versatility—as a singer! We knew that she has two albums to her name (“Anywhere I Lay My Head,” a compilation of Tom Waits tunes, and “Break Up,” her collaboration with Pete Yorn), but we heard her cool alto only when she sang “Before My Time,” the beautifully eerie, Oscar-nominated theme song of “Chasing Ice,” Jeff Orlowski’s chilling documentary about glaciers—and we were smitten!


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