spider woman

Allure, June 2002
by Cara Birnbaum

Riding horses alongside Robert Redford, sharing the stage with Ethan Hawke, and knowing Billy Bob Thornton well enough to call him Billy Bob would be bragging points for any seasoned actor. Scarlett Johansson, 17, has already checked off all three. With this month's release of Eight Legged Freaks, she adds man-eating spiders to her list of larger-than-life costars. "The hardest thing about the movie was playing a typical teenage girl," says Johansson, whose film credits include The Horse Whisperer and the noirish The Man Who Wasn't There. "I had lines like, 'Ewwww!' I didn't know how to make it sound like it wasn't complete bullshit." Her portrayal last year of a jaded adolescent in Ghost World was an easier fit. In fact, when she volunteered to baby-sit for costar Steve Buscemi's son, the Buscemis couldn't picture it: "I saw his wife at the Independent Spirit Awards and I reminded her. She said, 'I think we'd rather have dinner with you.'"