SCARLETT JOHANSSON

BBC Choice

Who is she?
Sixteen year old actress from New York. Currently turning heads with her performances in the Coen Brothers' superb "The Man Who Wasn't There" and the upcoming teen comedy "Ghost World".

Teen comedy? Fart gags and gross humour, right?
Er, wrong, actually. "Ghost World" is a brilliantly paced, gorgeously underplayed comedy about growing up and growing apart, populated by all manner of misfits. Johansson plays opposite Thora Birch (of "American Beauty" fame) and Steve Buschemi (of Steve Buschemi fame).

So what makes her different from, say, Kristen Dunst?
Oh, just the sense that there's something far darker bubbling deep down in her psyche. "Ghost World" director Terry Zwigoff called her "eccentric". She hates the "Scream" / "I Know What You Did Last Summer" style of filmmaking and says she'd only do a teen horror if it was "mentally disturbing".

I find them mentally disturbing.
You know what she means.

Okay, okay, tell me more.
Apart from her distinctive half Danish/half Polish anti-cheerleader looks, Johansson has a voice that sounds like she gargles cut glass while on a fifty a day habit. She's "obsessive", "compulsive", and admits to being "a little strange". She's been acting in films since she was eight and has worked with Sean Connery, Robert Redford and Bruce Willis. And she's featured in Gap's latest marketing campaign because (and I quote their executive vice president here) "she's a talented individual who inspires with her performance and expression of personal style"!

A megastar of the future, then.
Almost certainly.

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