Some people are just born with Broadway in their blood. Scarlett Johansson is surely such a case, having been born and raised in New York City and having found that her connection to theatre enriches her relationships with contemporaries and collaborators like Hugh Jackman, Jessica Hecht, Liev Schreiber and many more, as well as enriches her experiences as a human being and theatre activist. Besides being in the highest grossing film of the year so far – Iron Man 2 – Scarlett Johansson also managed to win a 2010 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress In A Play, and if those accomplishments just weren’t enough, she was magnanimous and gracious enough to give me forty-five minutes of her highly-prized time. Someone as ravishingly beautiful and quick-witted and eloquent as she is would not be automatically assumed by most to be the best dramatic and comedic actress of her generation – the next Meryl Streep if there ever were any – but, she is. She is. For further proof, see: Lost in Translation, The Prestige, Match Point, Scoop, Vicky Cristina Barcelona & Iron Man 2. Here is a portion of the interview in which we discuss her Broadway baby upbringing and some musical theatre-related anecdotes.
PC: What was it like working with fellow Broadway baby Hugh Jackman in SCOOP & THE PRESTIGE?
SJ: You know, working on SCOOP with Hugh, of course, I was just very fortunate to work with Hugh. He’s just – I mean, we call him the Mayor of Hollywood – he’s just all around amazing. A triple threat: singing, dancing, acting. And unbelievably, ridiculously gorgeous.
PC: Well, you are all of those things, too, so you must be the Mayoress of Hollywood!
SJ. (Laughs.) Thank you. But, he’s just the bee’s knees and I got really lucky to be able to spend a lot of time with him on the set of SCOOP. Of course, we both discovered that we love musicals. I love musicals, I started acting because I wanted to be in a musical. I loved Rodgers & Hammerstein and Cole Porter and Gershwin. We would just spend our whole morning in the hair and make-up trailer singing CAROUSEL and OKLAHOMA! and DAMN YANKEES. Then, you know, we got to work together again on THE PRESTIGE.