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Shooting: Oct. 25 - Feb. 24
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Theatrical Release: Nov. 19, 04
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In Good Company
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Woody Allen Summer Project
Theatrical Release (UK): May 13, 2005
A Good Woman
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Working Girl

Teen Vogue, February 2005
By L.W.

She spent her teen years toiling in Hollywood's trenches. Now that Scarlett's a bona fide starlet, she's not about to slow down

Stretched out like a cat on a black leather sofa high in the Hollywood Hills, Scarlett Johansson looks every bit the old-school movie star, even if she is dressed in denim rather than dripping in diamonds. Her hair, still styled from a photo shoot that should have ended more than an hour ago, is a pile of platinum pin curls atop her crown, and as Mario Testino snaps away with his 35-millimeter, she offers her best Mona Lisa smile. "Wow," the photographer says. "You are Marilyn, that's what I just realized." She giggles. "Look at this, a star. Now change," he adds, urging her into a new position. "I don't know how to change," Scarlett coos sleepily. "I'll always be the same."

She's exaggerating, of course, playing the star-is-born scenario for all it's worth, but on some level Scarlett speaks the truth: Even in her adolescence she possessed the smoky voice, the talent, and the preternatural sophistication that allowed her to ably emhody, at eighteen, an alienated wife in Lost in Translation. So much so that it's still a little odd to see her act closer to her actual age - just 20 - as she does this month in In Good Compary. But the actress says that her character, Alex, an ex-junior-tennis-champ trying to find her purpose "is very much in a position that I'm familiar with, a place of feeling like you have everything in front of you and you're deciding which path to travel down.

That does neatly descrihe the actress's life over the past few years. But it seems that, in the aftermath of Translation and Girl With A Pearl Earring, Scarlett hasn't settled on one path so much as worked hard to seize every opportunity that's come her way. In addition to Company, she's also in the current A Love Song for Bobby Long - she calls the offbeat indie, in which she acts opposite John Travolta, "a dream come true." And her list of upcoming projects is as long as it is varied: period drama, sci-fi, mystery, Mission Impossible: 3, and a Woody Allen flick are all in the offing. "I'd also love to make a really scary horror movie," she notes. "And I want to direct, really, as soon as possible."

Scarlett's thoroughly unbothered hy her current break-neck schedule - she dryly dismisses the need for extended time off with, "It's not like I have kids." Her willingness to work (and work) is no doubt because the New York City native has been trying to get to this point for the better part of her young life. "I was one of those singing and dancing Broadway kids," she remembers. "I wanted to be Judy Garland Meet Me in St. Louis, or Rosalind Russell in Auntie Mame." And her earliest efforts weren't always met with acclaim. When Scarlett was seven, she talked her mother into taking her to see a talent agent. As she says: "It was my moment to shine, or whatever. And they didn't want me. I sobbed outside of a Hot & Crusty for like an hour." But she soon dusted herself off to try again. "I've always taken rejection really well."

She's having a slightly harder time with the tabloid attention her ever-increasing fame invites. Though her strong sense of style has made her a darling of the fashion press, her independence has attracted some rather negative attention as well. "It's annoying to read things about yourself like 'She's such a slut,'" she says, quite reasonably. "I don't want to censor myself - I don't believe in censoring myself - but when I talk too much about who I'm dating, about that aspect of my life, it can backfire terribly." She's referring to an oft-repeated off-hand comment she made when asked about her supposed elevator liaison with Benicio Del Toro after last year's Oscar ceremony. What she intended as a sarcastic takedown was instead taken out of context and reported worldwide as confirmation of the icky affair. And about her alleged thing for older men in general? Scarlett wants to refute that, too, sort of. "I like all kinds of people," she explains, "regardless of what year they were born."

If her nondenials do feel somewhat perfunctory, it's probably because she's just not the type to tie up too much mental energy worrying about others' ill-informed opinions. She's too cool, too savvy, too self-possessed for that. As her Company costar Topher Grace explains, "Scarlett's style is sort of to do the opposite of what other actresses her age might do. She has a commitment to being very real." And to those who don't like it? Well, frankly, my dear, Scarlett doesn't give a damn.


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