Johansson is considered one of Hollywood's modern sex symbols, and has frequently appeared in published lists of the sexiest women in the world. As of May 2017, she is the highest-grossing actress of all time in North America, with her films making over $3.6 billion. In 2016, she was the highest-grossing actress, with a $1.2 billion total for the year.
Johansson was born in Manhattan, in New York City. Her father, Karsten Johansson, is an architect originally from Copenhagen, Denmark, and her paternal grandfather, Ejner Johansson, was an art historian, screenwriter, and director. Her mother, Melanie Sloan, a producer, comes from an Ashkenazi Jewish family from the Bronx; Sloan's ancestors were Jewish emigrants from Poland and Belarus in the Russian Empire. Scarlett has an older sister, Vanessa, also an actress; an older brother, Adrian; and a twin brother, Hunter (who appeared with her in the film Manny & Lo). She also has an older half-brother, Christian, from her father's first marriage. She holds both United States and Danish passports and citizenship.
Johansson grew up in a household with "little money", and with a mother who was a "film buff". She and her twin brother attended PS 41, an elementary school in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. Johansson began her theatrical training by attending and graduating from Professional Children's School in Manhattan in 2002.
Johansson began acting during childhood, after her mother started taking her to auditions. She would audition for commercials but took rejection so hard her mother began limiting her to film tryouts. She made her film debut at the age of nine, as John Ritter's daughter in the fantasy comedy North (1994). Following minor roles in the mystery thriller Just Cause (1995), as the daughter of Sean Connery and Kate Capshaw, and If Lucy Fell (1996), she played the role of Amanda in Manny & Lo (1996). Her performance in Manny & Lo garnered a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Female, and positive reviews, one noting, "[the film] grows on you, largely because of the charm of ... Scarlett Johansson", while San Francisco Chronicle critic Mick LaSalle commented on her "peaceful aura", and wrote, "If she can get through puberty with that aura undisturbed, she could become an important actress."
After appearing in minor roles in Fall and Home Alone 3 (both 1997), Johansson garnered widely spread attention for her performance in the film The Horse Whisperer (1998), directed by Robert Redford. She received a nomination for the Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Actress for the film. In 1999, she appeared in My Brother the Pig and in the neo-noir Coen brothers film The Man Who Wasn't There (2001). Although the film Ghost World (2001) was not a box office success, she received praise for her performance in what is considered her break-out role. Credited with "sensitivity and talent [that] belie her age". In 2002, she appeared in the horror comedy Eight Legged Freaks with David Arquette.
Johansson made the transition from teen roles to adult roles, with two roles in 2003. In the Sofia Coppola film Lost in Translation, she played Charlotte, a listless and lonely young wife, opposite Bill Murray. Roger Ebert wrote that he loved the film and described the performances of Johansson and Murray as "wonderful". Entertainment Weekly wrote of Johansson's "embracing, restful serenity", and The New York Times said, "At 18, the actress gets away with playing a 25-year-old woman by using her husky voice to test the level of acidity in the air ... Ms. Johansson is not nearly as accomplished a performer as Mr. Murray, but Ms. Coppola gets around this by using Charlotte's simplicity and curiosity as keys to her character." Johansson won the BAFTA Award and was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress. She received nominations from a number of film critic organizations, including the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Chicago Film Critics Association.
At age 18, Johansson played Griet in Peter Webber's Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003). While noting, "Audiences feel as if they are spying on a moment of artistic inspiration when painter Vermeer creates the title work", USA Today praised her, suggesting, "[She] is having a banner year that Oscar voters should recognize." In his review for The New Yorker, Anthony Lane said, "What keeps Webber's movie alive is the tenseness of the setup ... and, above all, the presence of Johansson. She is often wordless and close to plain onscreen, but wait for the ardor with which she can summon a closeup and bloom under its gaze; this is her film, not Vermeer's, all the way." Owen Gleiberman, for Entertainment Weekly, wrote of her "nearly silent performance", observing, "The interplay on her face of fear, ignorance, curiosity, and sex is intensely dramatic." She was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama and the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. She was nominated by the London Film Critics' Circle, the Phoenix Film Critics Society.
Johansson was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in June 2004. The same year, she had voice or onscreen roles in five films: The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie; A Good Woman, an adaptation of Oscar Wilde's Lady Windermere's Fan, which had a limited U.S. release, and was both a box office and critical failure, described by The New York Times as a "misbegotten Hollywood-minded screen adaptation" with "an excruciating divide between the film's British actors (led by Tom Wilkinson and Stephen Campbell Moore), who are comfortable delivering Wilde's aphorisms ... and its American marquee names, Helen Hunt and Scarlett Johansson, [who have] little connection to the English language as spoken in the high Wildean style"; the critically panned teen heist film The Perfect Score, the romantic comedy In Good Company, a critical and box office success; and, finally, the dark, Southern drama, A Love Song for Bobby Long, for which she earned a third Golden Globe for Best Actress nomination.
In July 2005, Johansson starred with Ewan McGregor in Michael Bay's science fiction film The Island, in dual roles as Sarah Jordan and her clone, Jordan Two Delta. The film was a commercial failure and received mixed critical reviews. In contrast, her role as Nola, the American actress with whom Chris (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is obsessed, in the Woody Allen-directed drama Match Point, was well received. The New York Times said, "Ms. Johansson and Mr. Rhys-Meyers manage some of the best acting seen in a Woody Allen movie in a long time, escaping the archness and emotional disconnection that his writing often imposes." Johansson received her fourth Golden Globe nomination, and one from the Chicago Film Critics Association, for Best Supporting Actress.
In another collaboration with Allen, she was cast opposite Hugh Jackman and Allen in the film Scoop (2006). While the film enjoyed a modest worldwide box office success, it received mixed reviews by critics. The same year, she appeared in Brian De Palma's The Black Dahlia, a film noir shot in Los Angeles and Bulgaria. Johansson later said she was a De Palma fan and had wanted to work with him on the film, even though she thought that she was "physically wrong" for the part.
Johansson next had a supporting role in the Christopher Nolan thriller The Prestige (2006), again opposite Hugh Jackman, as well as Christian Bale. Nolan, who described Johansson as possessing an "ambiguity... a shielded quality", said he was "very keen" for her to play the role. Johansson said, "I loved working with [Christopher Nolan]. He's incredibly focused and driven and involved, and really involved in the performance in every aspect. He's incredible to watch." The film was both a critical and a worldwide box office success, recommended by the Los Angeles Times as "an adult, provocative piece of work." Also in 2006, Johansson starred in the short film When the Deal Goes Down, directed by Bennett Miller, set to Bob Dylan's "When the Deal Goes Down...", released to promote Dylan's album, Modern Times.
Johansson starred in The Nanny Diaries (2007), alongside Laura Linney. The film performed only marginally well at the box office, and was critically panned. Johansson's reviews were mixed, with Variety saying, "[She] essays an engaging heroine", while The New Yorker criticized her for looking "merely confused" while "trying to give the material a plausible emotional center".
In 2008, Johansson starred in The Other Boleyn Girl, with Natalie Portman and Eric Bana, a film which garnered mixed reviews. Writing for Rolling Stone, Pete Travers criticized the film for "[moving] in frustrating herks and jerks", but was more positive in his assessment of Johansson and Portman, and wrote, "What works is the combustible teaming of Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson, who give the Boleyn hotties a tough core of intelligence and wit, swinging the film's sixteenth-century protofeminist issues handily into this one."
Johansson filmed her third Woody Allen film, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, in Spain, appearing opposite Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz. The film was one of Allen's most profitable and appeared on many critics' top ten lists of the best films of 2008. She also played the femme fatale Silken Floss in Frank Miller's film noir, comedy adaptation of The Spirit. The film received mostly poor reviews. Johansson later appeared in the role of Anna Marks, a yoga instructor, in the ensemble cast of He's Just Not That Into You (2009), with Jennifer Connelly, Bradley Cooper, Drew Barrymore and Kevin Connolly. The film was a box office success but only gained average critical reception.
In March 2009, Johansson signed on to play Natalia Romanova/Natasha Romanoff, aka "The Black Widow" in Iron Man 2 after Emily Blunt was forced to drop the role due to a scheduling conflict. The film was released on May 7, 2010. The film was a box office success and received mostly positive reviews from critics. In 2011, Johansson played the role of Kelly, a zookeeper in the family film We Bought a Zoo. The film gained mainly favorable reviews.
In November 2011, it was reported that she planned to make her directorial debut by adapting Truman Capote's novel, Summer Crossing, with the screenplay written by playwright Tristine Skyler. Johansson reprised the role of Natasha Romanoff in The Avengers (2012). The Avengers received positive reviews and was highly successful at the box office, becoming the third highest-grossing film both in the United States and worldwide. In early March 2012, it was announced that Johansson had been cast as Janet Leigh in the Sacha Gervasi-directed film Hitchcock, a behind-the-scenes drama about the making of Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 film Psycho. Released in November 2012, Hitchcock received mixed to positive reviews.
Johansson received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on May 2, 2012, located at 6931 Hollywood Boulevard, in front of Madame Tussauds Hollywood wax museum. Also in 2012, Johansson was cast in Joseph Gordon-Levitt's directorial debut, Don Jon. The film premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and had its wide release in September 2013. Don Jon received positive reviews. Johansson's performance was highlighted by critics; Claudia Puig of USA Today stated that she "gives one of her best performances as the bossy, gum-chewing Jersey girl".
In 2013, Johansson voiced the character Samantha, an intelligent computer operating system, in the Spike Jonze film Her, replacing Samantha Morton in the role. The film received critical acclaim upon release with Johansson's performance being well-received among critics. Johansson was also cast in the film Under the Skin (2013), the film adaptation directed by Jonathan Glazer of Michel Faber's novel of the same name. The film was released in the United States in 2014, to positive reviews, with Johansson receiving praise for her performance, which included scenes of full frontal nudity.
In October 2014, it was announced that Johannson will star in and executive produce the upcoming eight-episode period series The Custom of the Country, based on Edith Wharton's 1913 novel of the same name. She is set to play Undine Spragg, a young woman from the Midwest who tries to climb her way up the New York City social ladder. It will be written by Christopher Hampton.
Johansson reprised her role as Black Widow in the sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), alongside frequent co-star Chris Evans as the title character. The film received positive reviews. She played Molly in the film Chef (2014), alongside Jon Favreau, Robert Downey, Jr. and Sofía Vergara. She also starred in Lucy, a science fiction action film directed by Luc Besson, which was released on July 25, 2014. The film received largely positive, but also polarizing, critical reviews, and grossed $458 million against a budget of $40 million.
In 2015, Johansson again played Black Widow in Avengers: Age of Ultron, alongside the original cast of the first Avengers film. A mixture of close-ups, concealing costumes, stunt doubles and visual effects were used to help hide Johansson's pregnancy during filming.
On January 5, 2015, Variety announced that Johansson signed on to play the lead role in a film adaptation of the Ghost in the Shell franchise, which was directed by Rupert Sanders and produced by Avi Arad and Steven Paul. The film received mixed reviews, and the casting of Johansson was met with criticism from some fans and critics, calling the choice "whitewashing".
Johansson again reprised her role as Black Widow in Captain America: Civil War, released in May 2016, and will continue playing the character in Avengers: Infinity War scheduled for release in May 2018 and the untitled sequel scheduled for May 2019.
On March 11, 2017, Johansson hosted Saturday Night Live for the fifth time, making her the 17th person and just the fourth woman (after Candice Bergen, Drew Barrymore and former cast member Tina Fey) to enter the NBC sketch comedy series' prestigious Five-Timers Club.
Johansson made her first stage appearance when she was eight years old in the Off Broadway play Sophistry opposite Ethan Hawke. In January 2010, following previews that began December 28, 2009, Johansson made her debut on Broadway, as Catherine Carbone in the drama A View from the Bridge, written by Arthur Miller and directed by Gregory Mosher. Liev Schreiber played opposite her. Johansson won the 2010 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play, for her role in the play. Her win received some backlash from critics and seasoned Broadway actors who felt she was undeserving of the award.
Johansson starred as Maggie in a Broadway revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof beginning January 17, 2013. Her performance received mixed reviews from critics. Thom Geier, writing for Entertainment Weekly, wrote, "Scarlett Johansson brings a fierce fighting spirit to Maggie the Cat in director Rob Ashford's languorous revival ... Johansson shows a winning determination – to lure back her husband, to defend their share of his family's fortune, to maintain a sometimes shaky Southern accent." On the other hand, reviewer Joe Dziemianowicz (the Daily News) called her performance "alarmingly one-note".
In 2005, Johansson was considered for the role of Maria in Andrew Lloyd Webber's West End revival of The Sound of Music, though the role ultimately went to newcomer Connie Fisher (winner of the BBC talent show How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?) Released on May 8, 2006, Johansson sang the track "Summertime" for Unexpected Dreams – Songs From the Stars, a non-profit collection of songs recorded by Hollywood actors. She performed with The Jesus and Mary Chain for a special Coachella Reunion Show in Indio, California, in April 2007.
In 2007, Johansson appeared as the leading lady in Justin Timberlake's music video, for "What Goes Around... Comes Around", which was nominated in August 2007, for video of the year at the MTV Video Music Awards.
In mid-2007, she spent about a month in Maurice, Louisiana, recording an album at Dockside Studio. The album, consisting of one original song and ten cover versions of Tom Waits songs, was produced by Dave Sitek of TV on the Radio and features David Bowie, members from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Celebration. Released on May 20, 2008, it was entitled Anywhere I Lay My Head. Reviews of the album were mixed, or average. Spin commented, "There's nothing particularly compelling about Scarlett Johansson's singing." Conversely, some critics found it to be "surprisingly alluring", "a bravely eccentric selection", and "a brilliant album" with "ghostly magic".
The album was named the "23rd best album of 2008" by NME and peaked at No.1 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart and No. 126 on the Billboard 200 chart. Of her album, Johansson said, "I had this golden opportunity to record and thought I would do maybe an album of standards, because I'm not a songwriter. I'm a vocalist." Johansson said for her recording she "wanted to have space and [she] wanted to be in a remote place where all of us could just be ourselves and not worry about anyone trying to listen in or get in on that." Johansson said in an interview that she started listening to Tom Waits when she was 11 or 12 years old. Of Tom Waits, Johansson said in an interview, "His melodies are so beautiful, his voice is so distinct and I had my own way of doing Tom Waits songs." In December 2008, MTV reported Johansson planned to follow up Anywhere I Lay My Head with an album of all original music, saying, "I don't think I'd do covers, so it'd be a project that I have to dedicate myself to. I feel like that's something for the future."
In 2009, Johansson covered Jeff Buckley's "Last Goodbye" for the soundtrack of He's Just Not That Into You. Released on September 8, 2009, she and singer-songwriter Pete Yorn recorded a collaborative album, Break Up, inspired by Serge Gainsbourg's duets with Brigitte Bardot. In 2010, Steel Train released Terrible Thrills Vol. 1, which includes their favourite female artists singing songs from their self-titled album. Johansson is the first artist on the album, singing "Bullet". In 2011, Johansson sang "One Whole Hour" for the soundtrack of the documentary film Wretches & Jabberers. In 2012, Johansson added her voice to a J. Ralph track entitled "Before My Time" to the end credits of the climate documentary Chasing Ice. The song received a nomination from the Academy Awards in the "Best Original Song" category.
In February 2015, Johansson formed a band called The Singles. It is made up of Este Haim from HAIM, Holly Miranda, Kendra Morris and Julia Haltigan. The first single released by the group was called "Candy". Johansson was issued a cease and desist order from the lead singer of the Los Angeles-based rock band The Singles, demanding Johansson stop using their name.
Johansson's physical appearance and personality consistently score high within the United States and United Kingdom male demographic. Maxim ranked her at No. 6 in their Hot 100 Issue in 2006, No. 3 in 2007, No. 2 in 2008, No. 34 in 2009, No. 14 in 2010, and 2011, No. 17 in 2012 No. 15 in 2013, and No. 2 in 2014. In November 2006, she was named the "Sexiest Woman Alive" by Esquire. She is the only woman to be chosen twice for the title of "Sexiest Woman Alive" by Esquire (with the second title given in 2013). She appeared on the cover of the March 2006 issue of Vanity Fair in the nude alongside actress Keira Knightley and fashion designer Tom Ford. In February 2007, she was named the "Sexiest Celebrity" of the year by Playboy. In 2010, GQ named her its Babe of the Year. In 2011, Men's Health named her one of the "100 Hottest Women of All-Time", ranking her at No. 12. FHM has regularly ranked her as one of their 100 sexiest famous women since 2005.
During the filming of Match Point, director Woody Allen said he found it "very hard to be extra witty around a sexually overwhelming, beautiful young woman who is wittier than you are." In 2014, New Yorker film critic Anthony Lane wrote that "she is evidently, and profitably, aware of her sultriness, and of how much, down to the last inch, it contributes to the contours of her reputation."
Johansson is commonly referred to as "ScarJo" by the media and fans, but has stated that she dislikes the nickname, calling it "awful" and "terrible". In the May 2014 issue of Glamour, she stated, "I associate that name [ScarJo] with, like, pop stars. It sounds tacky. It's lazy and flippant. And there's something kind of violent about it. There's something insulting about it."
Johansson has appeared in advertising campaigns for Calvin Klein, L'Oréal and Louis Vuitton, and has been the face of Spanish brand Mango since 2009. After appearing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute Gala with Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, Johansson was announced as the face of the new Dolce & Gabbana make-up collection in early 2009. She made a personal appearance at the London store, Selfridges, on July 31, 2009, to help launch and promote the line. Johansson was also the first Hollywood celebrity to become an ambassador for a champagne house: she is the spokesperson for Moët & Chandon.
In January 2014, the Israeli company SodaStream, which makes home-carbonation product, hired Johannson as its first global brand ambassador, a relationship that commenced with a television commercial during Super Bowl XLVIII on February 2, 2014. Her endorsement of the product led to a conflict with another organization with which Johansson has done charity work, Oxfam, and led her to resign from that organization by the end of that January. (See Charity work below).
In 2005, Johansson became a Global Ambassador for the aid and development agency Oxfam. In March 2008, a UK-based bidder paid £20,000 on an eBay auction to benefit Oxfam, winning a hair and makeup treatment, a pair of tickets and a chauffeured trip to accompany Johansson on a 20-minute date to the world premiere of He's Just Not That Into You.
In January 2014, Johansson resigned from her Oxfam position after facing criticism for her promotion of SodaStream, whose main factory was based in Mishor Adumim, an Israeli settlement in the West Bank, as Oxfam opposes all trade with such Israeli settlements. Her spokesman said she and Oxfam "have a fundamental difference of opinion in regards [sic] to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement". In response to her resignation, Oxfam stated that it was "grateful for her many contributions ... [in] helping to highlight the impact of natural disasters and raise funds to save lives and fight poverty".
Johansson was registered as an independent, at least through 2008, and campaigned for Democratic candidate John Kerry in the 2004 United States presidential election. About George W. Bush's 2004 reelection, she said, "[I am] disappointed. I think it was a disappointment for a large percentage of the population."
Johansson also campaigned for Democratic candidate Barack Obama: Her efforts included appearances in Iowa during January 2008, where her efforts were targeted at younger voters; an appearance at Cornell College; and a speaking engagement at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota on Super Tuesday, 2008. Johansson appeared in the music video for The Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am's song, "Yes We Can" (2008), directed by Jesse Dylan, a song inspired by Obama's speech following the 2008 New Hampshire primary. On February 7, 2012, Johansson and Anna Wintour hosted a fashion launch of pro-Obama clothing, bags and accessories, with proceeds going to the President's re-election campaign. She addressed voters at the Democratic National Convention on September 6, 2012, calling for President Obama's reelection and for more engagement from young voters. She specifically encouraged women to vote for Obama and condemned Mitt Romney for his opposition to Planned Parenthood.
Johansson publicly endorsed and supported Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer's 2013 run for New York City Comptroller by hosting a series of fundraisers.
Johansson celebrates a "little of both" Christmas and Hanukkah, and has described herself as Jewish.
From 2001 to 2002, while Johansson attended the Professional Children's School, she dated classmate Jack Antonoff, who went on to become the guitarist for the band Fun. She dated her Black Dahlia co-star Josh Hartnett for about two years until the end of 2006, with Hartnett citing their busy lives as the reason for the split.
Johansson began dating Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds in 2007, and in May 2008, it was reported that they were engaged. On September 27, 2008, the couple married in a quiet ceremony near Tofino, British Columbia. They purchased a $2.8 million home together near Los Angeles. On December 14, 2010, the couple announced their separation. Their divorce was finalized on July 1, 2011.
Following her separation from Reynolds, Johansson dated actor Sean Penn in a short-lived but highly publicized relationship that lasted until June 2011, after which Johansson entered a year-and-a-half long relationship with advertising executive Nate Naylor. The pair split up in October 2012.
In November 2012, Johansson started dating Frenchman Romain Dauriac, the owner of an independent advertising agency. In September 2013, it was announced that Johansson and Dauriac were engaged. In 2014, Johansson and Dauriac began dividing their time between residences in New York City and Paris. Her representative confirmed on September 4, 2014, that their daughter, Rose Dorothy Dauriac, had been born on an unspecified date. Johansson and Dauriac married on October 1, 2014, in Philipsburg, Montana. In January 2017, it was announced Johansson and Dauriac had separated in the summer of 2016. Johansson officially filed for divorce from Dauriac on March 7, 2017. The divorce was finalized in September 2017.
In September 2011, nude photographs of Johansson hacked from her cell phone were published online. Following an FBI investigation, Christopher Chaney was arrested, pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Johansson said the photos had been sent to her then-husband, Ryan Reynolds, three years prior to the incident.Anywhere I Lay My Head (2008)
Break Up (2009)