Lovely Scarlett Johansson is the cover girl of Elle Magazine's November 07 - The Women of Hollywood Issue.
Unlike many of her peers cast as contemporary post-adolescents, Scarlett Johansson prospers on her own planet icon, unconstrained by her age or by movie genre. She's persuasive as a seventeenth-century Delft maid in Girl with a Pearl Earring and as a bio-engineered clone in The Island. True, some of her films have been merely indie-quirky, and some didn't pan out at all (even her shimmering bodysuit couldn't save The Island). But it makes little difference to the inexorably upward arc of her career. Bigger than her last movie, she's a throwback in a way to the heyday of the Hollywood studio system and its industrious contract players. (After graduating from Manhattan's Professional Children's School in 2003, her college equivalency was a blur of movie sets.) “The point is,” she says, “by the time the movie has flopped, you're looking forward to finishing the next film. The important thing is to keep working.”
Johansson grew up a culture-vulture middle-class Manhattan kid, raised on movies by a cinephile mother. She admits to a case of nerves shooting the first take of Match Point with her idol Woody Allen behind the camera. But now, after last year's Scoop, the valentine of a murder mystery he created for her, she regards her breezy rapport with the director as nothing out of the ordinary, even as the press has dubbed her his muse, a late-in-the-game successor to Diane Keaton and Mia Farrow.
“Woody's mannerisms and his wit are classically him,” she says appraisingly. “But when you know someone, your conversation has an intimacy that you couldn't have predicted from seeing him on the screen. Woody surprises me all the time. On film, you see his neurotic side but not his sensitivity.” I read to Johansson a recent quote from Allen, that she has “a tiny bit of Marilyn Monroe in her zaftig humidity.” Johansson waits two beats and then laughs a naughty laugh that would have done Mae West proud. “My goodness,” she says. As that great lady herself once said, “Goodness has nothing to do with it.”