Indie roles translate into success for actress

Press & Sun-Bulletin, December 11, 2003
By Mary Pat Hyland

According to Scarlett Johansson, she first got an inclination to become an actress around the age of 3. "I have a fire in my brain to act," she told her mother. It was a prophetic inclination.

Johansson studied acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute for Young People. Soon she had parts in an off-Broadway play and made her film debut in North in 1994 when she was 10. Two years later, she got an Independent Spirit Award Best Actress nomination for her role in Manny & Lo.

The career of this overachiever with the raspy voice continues to rise with roles such as Grace in The Horse Whisperer, Rebecca in Ghost World and as Birdy in the Coen Brothers film noir tribute, The Man Who Wasn't There.

This year could be a huge breakthrough for Johansson. Her role opposite Bill Murray in the indie hit Lost in Translation won her the Upstream Prize for Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival. Next she will play Vermeer's model in Girl With A Pearl Earring, the soon-to-be-released film based on the best-selling novel.

Fast facts

Age: 19

8: The age at which she made her acting debut in an off-Broadway production, Sophistry, with Ethan Hawke.

Kate Hudson: The actress she replaced in Girl With A Pearl Earring.

Sites to see

Best bet: Dedicated to: Scarlett Johansson
This must-see fan site includes news, photo galleries, fast facts, biography, wallpapers, quotes, articles and interviews, awards and a filmography.

Scarlett Johansson Rising Star of The Horse Whisperer
An older site, this includes a filmography, photos and biography.

Lost In Translation -- Scarlett Johansson Interview
In this interview, Johansson discusses udon noodles, karaoke and working with Bill Murray.


Girl With A Pearl Earring -- official film site (Needs Flash 6.)
This site is a work of art itself. Includes a synopsis of the story of Johannes Vermeer and the maid who posed for his famous painting, cast and crew info, galleries and desktops. A nice touch that it includes links to sites about Vermeer and his art.

Sound byte

"I love when I see a movie and it's like you're not even in the theater, but you're right there with the characters, in their world, and going through the experience with them. ... I hope that's what people experience when they see a film -- any film -- I'm in."