by Dotson Rader from Parade
Read the full interview here.
“I enrolled in the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute for Kids. I booked the first two auditions that I went on.”-Scarlett Johansson, Young Actors at Strasberg alumna
In Scarlett Johansson’s eagerly awaited new movie, Avengers 2: Age of Ultron, she stars as the Black Widow, the superhero role she has successfully played in three previous Marvel blockbusters. Recently, in Los Angeles, Johansson met for several hours with Parade’s Dotson Rader to talk about acting, love, marriage, family, and other matters close to her heart.
Parade: You are a native New Yorker and grew up in Greenwich Village.
Scarlet Johansson: Yes. My mom is from the Bronx. Her parents were New Yorkers. My father is Danish, from Copenhagen.
You started acting at a very young age. How did that happen?
Scarlett Johansson: When I was about 7, I started auditioning. I enrolled in the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute for Kids. I booked the first two auditions that I went on, a Kitchen-Aid commercial and a film [North, starring John Ritter]. I loved shooting that film. So I just kept auditioning and booking stuff, and that’s how it happened. I got lucky.
Is it the applause that you’re after?
Scarlet Johansson: I don’t know necessarily that it’s about the applause. Of course, that’s always welcome. When I did A View from the Bridge, I was convinced that people wanted me to fail. I was really nervous.
(Johansson won the Best Actress Tony for her Broadway performance in Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge in 2010. Her costar was Liev Schreiber.)
I remember Liev saying to me, “[An actor] always thinks the audience is against you. But for the audience this is a night out on the town, a Broadway show. They want to be carried away. They’re rooting for you. They want you to succeed.” He’s right. It totally changed my experience of stepping out on stage. Suddenly, it felt like it was a whole room of people who wanted to be moved. It’s such an amazing feeling.
Are you going to come back to Broadway?
Scarlet Johansson: Oh yes, yes, for sure. I feel at home there. I love it! Your relationship with a live audience is very different than your relationship with the movie camera. It used to be even more so when we used actual film. Then the actors could hear the film running through the camera. It felt like a living organism is witnessing what you’re doing. But we don’t have that anymore.
Scarlett Johansson is an alumna of The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute’s Young Actors at Strasberg program. Learn more about Young Actors at Strasberg here.