Scarlett is currently featured in a couple of magazines, promoting her album. If you know any more, please get in touch!
Yes, Scarlett Johansson is beautiful in person. It’s not an optical illusion or camera tricks or makeup magic or airbrushing. That’s usually what people want to know when they find out you’ve interviewed her. Guys ask if she’s real. Girls always—without fail, without hesitation—ask what she was wearing. What can I tell you about her that I don’t mention in my June cover story? When answering a question, she’ll look past you into space for the words. But then, without warning, she’ll lock eyes with you mid-sentence, utterly confident in her ideas, even as they take shape.
The most animated she got during the interview was when we discussed her involvement in Barack Obama’s campaign. She sat next to me on a couch, leaning forward, hunched over most of our chat, sliding one of her many rings on and off her finger, but when talking about the Illinois senator, she sat straight up and her face beamed with delight. Here are a few quotes from the interview that didn’t make it into my piece.
On her first time meeting Obama:
“I remember the first time I met him, all I could say was like… I couldn’t believe that it was him, and I just heard him make this speech and I was really excited. He gave this great speech to a really intimate group, and he just came over to me – he was kind of edging… he was doing kind of the meet and greet, and it was like ‘Oh my god – he’s coming closer.’ I didn’t want to be, but somebody kind of forced me in, and was like this is Scarlett, and he said ‘Nice to meet you. I’m a fan. And thanks for coming out and supporting.’ And I’m like, instead of saying so many things that I could have said, I was just like ‘God. I love your wife! She’s great. I just love her.’ He was like ‘Oh good, good.’ I was like ‘Michelle – what a woman! What a strong…’ All I could talk about was Michelle, and at the end of it, he was like ‘Well I’ll let her know that you said that,’ or whatever.
When he walked away, I was like ‘Damn it! I’m such an idiot.’ Of course I meant what I said, but I could have said other things that would have been a little bit more poignant or something. But he kind of has that effect on you. He’s just so charismatic, and genuinely interested – not just that like politician that like stare through you and whispers ‘Who is this person? What’s her name?’ He’s actually a very casual conversationalist, and he’s interested, he’s direct – much like he is in his speech deliverance. So for me… I’ve totally geeked-out a couple of times. I’ve gotten better. The more times I’ve met him, he’s like ‘How’s it going?’ You’re on the trail together, and I’ve been a little less geeky. I just think he’s so inspiring, and I can’t wait to place my vote for him.”
On what she perceives her filmmaking style to be:
“What I focus on, I guess, is the character development. I mean, not that that’s a thumbprint that you have on your film, but since I have my own personal aesthetic and how I want the film to look, but I wasn’t thinking about it from that aspect. I wanted to… it was important to me to have really compelling character development. So I guess above all things, that was important to me, whether that’s a style – it’s not really a style or choice, you know. Because all the styling of things, that comes with the – that’s like an afterthought. Of course you think about it. I mean I thought about it, and it’s amazing, because I was telling Craig [the editor] that the way the film is is exactly as I saw it in my mind. But I think that that all comes together with the story of the character, you know, you see – you envision the character going through… I try not to get caught up on like, the… Yes, it’s important – the look of it – but the thing is I didn’t look at the… The mood of the character is what affects the mood, the atmosphere.
All of the movies that I really connect to have – the production design is fantastic and the costumes are fantastic, and you notice those things, of course – but what really is driving those things is either like the flamboyant nature of the character or reserved, or you know whatever it may be, and even the music and everything comes – is built out of the character story.”
On her relationship to the movie camera:
“I never felt awkward around the camera. I was never really aware that it was there. I had the same relationship a lot of actors have with the camera, which is almost like… like you weave your performance through the eyes of the lens, in a way. You’re aware and you’re not aware of it – all in the same time. I don’t know. But I was never self-conscious about being in front of the camera. Other things would have made me terribly self-conscious, but being in front of the camera, you’re not thinking about all the people that are going to some day see this film. It’s a very personal, intimate experience.”
Read the full story in the June ’08 issue of Paste, coming soon to a newsstand near you.