Nicole Trunfio by Zoltan Tombor for You Inspire March 2012
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    Scarlett Johansson stars as a cover girl for the March 2015 issue of W Magazine, photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott with styling by Edward Enninful. other, chanteuse, computer operating system, bombshell alien… no matter the role, Scarlett Johansson is her own woman. “When she came out of me, I was so surprised,” Scarlett Johansson told me on a cold day in December. We were at the photo shoot for this story, and Johansson, who had given birth to her daughter, Rose, just three months earlier, was wearing tight jeans and an equally snug white sweater. Her short, almost platinum hair, which would soon be covered by a Debbie Harry circa-Blondie shag wig, was slicked back. “I had a very strong picture in my mind of what my baby would look like,” Johansson continued. “And, of course, she is completely different. Perfect, but not what I’d imagined. Now, of course, I can’t picture her any other way.” Johansson smiled. As always — and I have been interviewing her regularly since her breakthrough role in 2003’s Lost in Translation — she was at once forthcoming and guarded. Johansson, who just turned 30, has been acting professionally since she was 7 and is entirely comfortable in the spotlight. (“Everyone has seen my breasts!” she said when an assistant offered her a private changing room. “I can change my top right here.”) And then, when it truly matters, she can be remarkably discreet. It was months before the public caught wind of her marriage to the French journalist Romain Dauriac. Johansson has always taken unexpected creative chances: In 2010, at the height of her movie stardom, she defied critics by acting in Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge on Broadway and, to the astonishment of many, winning a Tony for her performance. With the verve of a ’60s chanteuse, Johansson has recorded albums, and they are far from vanity projects. And just when she seemed a bit too art house, she took the role of Black Widow, the female superhero in The Avengers. The much-awaited sequel to that movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron (the trailer garnered 34.3 million hits in its first 24 hours online), is due in theaters on May 1. The past year was, in particular, a big one for Johansson: In addition to becoming a mom, she starred in two of the only interesting female-centric films of 2014. In the global blockbuster Lucy, she plays a woman who ingests a drug that gives her superior mental and physical abilities (telekinesis, ass-kicking), and in Under the Skin, she is a seductive, murderous alien. “I was completely naked in that movie,” Johansson said matter-of-factly. “She was a totally different species, so her nudity was kind of practical. I also had black hair. That was my idea — I didn’t think I should be a blonde sort of bombshell. Naked, but not too sexy.” As a child in New York, Johansson was fascinated with every aspect of show business. “I had a big imagination,” she said. “I particularly loved Judy Garland, and, to me, she did it all. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be an actor. And I wanted to do everything. When you’re a kid, they send you on a lot of commercial auditions, and I was terrible at selling things. I never got those parts. I remember crying in the subway, and my mom said, ‘Look — let’s forget it. Do something else.’ And I replied, ‘No. You can’t take this away from me. I want to be an actor!’ Waiting for the B train, I had my come-to-Jesus moment.” So Johansson (and her mother, who became her manager) decided she would audition only for films. In addition to a precocious mix of sexy and cute, even as a girl, Johansson had a trump card: her deep, slightly hoarse, smoky speaking voice. “When I was young, I would talk and everyone thought I had a cold. But when I went out for films, they loved my voice. It was a different world.” In 2013, Spike Jonze capitalized on Johansson’s voice brilliantly in Her — as Joaquin Phoenix’s love interest, a disembodied computer operating system. Jonze told me that Johansson arrived every day to play the part wearing red lipstick and a cocktail dress, even though she woul
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