Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Scarlett (Johansson)!


Melanie Sloane & another Melanie Sloane and Scarlett

Young Jessica and Scarlett


"Ghost World" with Thora

Scarlett with old man Bill

Silken Floss is the most beautiful woman
in the world

The Prestige

Happy birthday wishes go out this morning to one of my favorite actresses, Ms Scarlett Johansson, who today turns a whopping 26 years old!
She's had a fairly busy life considering at this age she's a self made millionaire, has been nominated four times for Golden Globe Awards for best actress, plus a literal slew of other awards (some winning, some not), has recorded two music albums, and this year won the Tony Award (that'd be for a play) for Best Performance by a Featured Actress.
Scarlett was born in New York City (you have to be born somewhere I guess), three minutes before her twin brother, Hunter. Her dad, Karsten Johansson, is a Danish-born architect (and his dad, Ejner Johansson, was of course the screenwriter and director. He's Danish too!), and her mom, Melanie Sloan, is a producer, acts as Scarlett's manager, and in her spare time founded CREW, the political watchdog group, the Center for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington... and one of my heros.
Uuumm, upon further reflection the assertion above may not be entirely true. Although there is a certain resemblance between the two Melanies (see picture above), CREW's executive director does not appear to be Scarlett's mother... or so they say.
Anyway, her mom is a big time movie buff, just like me, and began taking little Scarlett out on auditions at a very early age. She says she began working from the time she was eight (there is an interesting picture of young Scarlett posing with a young Jessica Biel above as two young models. Apparently they're still friends today, and apparently they both dated Justin Timberlake... I don't know why). When nine years old she made her film debut as John Ritter's daughter in "North," played Sean Connery's daughter in "If Lucy Fell," the next year, and in 1996 got her first co-lead role in "Manny & Lo," in which her older sister Vanessa also appeared. The performance garnered her a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Female. She was just twelve years old! I was sitting around my house with my thumb up my butt when I was twelve years old.
And that hurt!
Her break out performance of course was in "Eight Legged Freaks," with David Arquette in 2002, just after she graduating from Professional Children's School in Manhattan.
Ha ha, I'm just kidding, although the classic "Eight Legged Freaks," is one of my favorite movies, her real breakout performance was all the way back in 1998, in Robert Redford's "The Horse Whisperer," a film I've never been able to make it through due to narcoleptic fits (and which was the inspiration for the successful television shows "Ghost Whisperer," and "Dog Whisperer." I'm seriously contemplating my own breakthrough show, "The Pica Whisperer.") I think I first became aware of her career in 2001's "Ghost World," which had an interesting title not related at all to anything within the film, but for which I rented to see Scarlett's co-star, Ms Thora Birch (picture above), who had appeared in another of my favorite films, "American Beauty," two years before.
Okay, Scarlett transitioned big time into adult roles in 2003, in Sofia Coppola's "Lost in Translation," with Bill Murray (picture above). One of my favorite roles of Scarlett's was in "The Girl with a Pearl Earring," of the same year in which she played the artistic inspiration for the painter Johannes Vermeer. Some of my other favorite roles were in Woody Allen's "Match Point," "The Prestige," "Vicky Christina Barcelona" (another Allen film. They may be secretly dating), as Silken Floss in Frank Miller's "The Spirit," and last years "He's Just Not That Into You."
She released an album in 2008 consisting of mostly Tom Waits cover songs entitled, "Any where I lay My Head," and followed that up in 2009 with "Break Up" (but was recorded in 2006).
Scarlett has the good sense not to discuss her personal life to the press all that much so I certainly won't reveal her deepest darkest secrets here today. I respect her that much. She's made millions endorsing different cosmetics companies, blah blah, everybody thinks she's sooo hot, blah blah (she is very pretty... for a girl), and her rough, "smokey" voice is mentioned quite a bit, although I've never noticed it.
She does seem to have the right idea concerning politics and social causes. She supported both John Kerry and Barack Obama in their presidential bids, and seems to like cheese too much, though the two issues don't seem to have a lot in common with each other at first glance.
She is a Global Ambassador for the aid and development agency, Oxfam, which I also support. And in 2008 she married the popular actor Ryan Reynolds, and apparently lives here in Los Angeles, which makes us neighbors sort of.
And all of us here at Joyce's Take wish her and her family continued good health and success, and a very happy birthday.
Happy Birthday Scarlett!

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