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Scarlett Johansson

Sunday Magazine UK, November 28, 2004
By Ivan Waterman

If you're old and bold, then Scarlett Johansson could be just the girl for you.

If you're about to chat up Scarlett Johansson, come up with an original line or you may end up with a red face. The award-winning actress warns potential fellas she's bored with hearing the same tired old lines.

But if you're older than the 20-year-old movie star, you may be in with a chance. "Men seem to start off with this idea of me as an innocent and then realise they are dealing with something quite different," she says.

"I think I have already managed to pack a lot of life experience into a very short time without going crazy. Men are still something of a puzzle. They are more frightened of me than I am of them. I give them the jitters. They stutter and stumble - it's so embarassing!"

The beautiful blonde is now racking up the movie roles. She's recently topped up her tan in Italy, filming the period drama of Oscar Wilde's A Good Woman.

Then she sweated it out in America's Deep South and hit a New Orleans dance floor with John Travolta in A Love Song For Bobby Long.

And in Synergy, which is out in January, she plays the daughter of an ageing advertising executive who beds her dad's high-flying young boss.

"There is something attractive about the older man," admits Scarlett. "I don't actively search them out but I am on the same wavelength very quickly. I have never been out with a man my father's age, but I wouldn't have a problem with that."

She has confessed to a fling in a hotel lift with 21 Grams star Benicio Del Toro, 37, and has even been seen snogging actress Tara Subkoff in a New York club. (note by sj.org she's denied both, not confessed!!)

She's also been filming a Woody Allen movie in Britain and has been wrestling with our sense of humour.

"The British are charming and so funny," she adds. "And so polite. Then somebody will do something so rude to shock you, just when you think they are so above it all.

"If you don't go along with it, if you don't see the joke, you'll be taunted forever."

She sees a difference in the men in each country she visits.

"In New York you get these brash guys who'll come up and say, `Nice tits', and you just tell them where to go. They can be so insensitive. But when I was in Italy they were so romantic.

"You would be sitting having a cup of coffee and one would come up and say, 'Hey, beautiful girl, how about a kiss?' I'd say, 'No you can't, get the hell out of here!' and he'd produce some candy he'd bought for me in a store across the street.

"Then he'd walk off with a big smile, blowing kisses. In Italy guys want to talk to you and tell you how beautiful you are all the time.

"In London, it's more look but don't touch. You sense it would take a guy forever to make up his mind about what to say. By the time they get there, you're gone!"

Scarlett's first boyfriend was a classical violinist she met at the Professional Children's School in New York. Now she's just started dating actor Jared Leto, the ex-love of Cameron Diaz.

"I'm kind of pursuing him at the moment," she says. "He has a lovely face and kind eyes, which are really important to me.

"It's great to have a crush on somebody new. I'm a terribly romantic person - maybe too romantic. Being in love, it doesn't get much better. But I can't see myself settling down to be a mother for a long time. I still feel young and you have to take that stuff very seriously.

"I don't want to be married and divorced three times by 25. That would be irresponsible."

Scarlett lives in New York with her Danish-born architect father Karsten and her twin brother Hunter, a university student.

She has an older brother and sister, but her parents divorced five years ago.

Her big career break came in 1998's The Horse Whisperer but her role in last year's Lost In Translation made her a star. "That changed everything," says Scarlett. "It's great to be appreciated. But I am no different. I still put ketchup on my burgers!

"I earn a lot of money but you can only drive one car at once. I don't want people to think of me as a diva who tramples over those less fortunate, or less famous.

"If you have nice people around you, why do that? I've seen stars doing it and seen people mouthing

Asshole' in the background."

But what scares carefree Scarlett most is career burn-out.

"I'm getting concerned about over-exposure," she admits. "I have so many films coming out. Maybe I should take 12 months off and stand back. But I still feel on the verge of something.

"I like to think I'm a good person, a good woman if you like. I don't want to hear

precocious brat' being thrown in my direction. I'm a nice girl - honest!"

* Synergy is released on January 7, 2005.

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