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Many thanks to Ann for the heads up on this video!

PARADE – 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.

You are a native New Yorker and grew up in Greenwich Village.
SJ: 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?
SJ: 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?
SJ: 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?
SJ: 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.

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PARADE – If you ask Scarlett Johansson where she calls home, she doesn’t have an easy answer.

“I live a little bit of everywhere. My husband and I and the baby are a little bit nomadic at the moment,” says the globetrotting actress.

To Johansson, 30, home is wherever her family is. She and her husband, French art curator and former journalist Romain Dauriac, welcomed a baby girl, Rose Dorothy, last September. They live in Paris, close to his family, and in New York City, close to hers.

One place she always feels at home is in front of the camera. Audiences can see her next in Avengers: Age of Ultron, opening May 1, in which she returns for the fourth time to the super-heroic, crime-fighting, world-saving role of the World War II-era Black Widow alongside Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).

“I really enjoy playing this character. She was really the first female superhero, a reluctant one,” she says. “She’s never really been able to forge close relationships with anybody. She’s a lone wolf.”

Off camera, Johansson couldn’t be more different from her introverted character. “I’m constantly dazzled by Scarlett’s technique because on set, she’s a goofball,” says Avengers director Joss Whedon. “She’s always cracking people up. She works hard, but then, cut!—she’s goofing around again.”

Johansson had the itch to entertain from a young age, and her hometown of the Big Apple was the perfect environment for the budding young actress.

“I was always very dramatically inclined, ever since I was 3 or 4,” she says. “I was very outgoing. I loved adults. I loved attention. I loved to perform. I used to put on shows for my family. Unfortunately, there’s video evidence of that—my dad with the damn camcorder!”

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Scarlett is featured on the latest issue of Parade, promoting Avengers: Age of Ultron. This behind the scenes look at the shoot was uploaded yesterday, so if you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to take a look–Scarlett looks beautiful! Futher coverage from the issue will be available soon.


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EMPIRE – News about the controversial plans for a live-action remake of anime classic Ghost In The Shell has been thin on the ground of late. But with Scarlett Johansson does the press rounds for a little movie called Avengers: Age Of Ultron, the star of the planned project told Collider when the film will start shooting.

“It’s happening. It will be shooting the beginning of next year, so I think we start production January or February and it’s me and Rupert [Sanders]; and that’s all I know.”

Rupert Sanders is the director of Snow White And The Huntsman, and he’s working with producers Avi Arad and Steven Paul on the film which no doubt hopes to match the financial success of 2014’s Scarlett Johannsson action movie Lucy ($458 million worldwide).

The production rumbles on despite the understandable concerns of those who love Masamune Shirow’s original 1989 work, which spawned three manga editions, three films a TV series and several video games. Still, Ghost boasts a compelling story angle for the big screen: the focus is on Motoko Kusanagi (Johansson), a cyborg law enforcer and part of the member of a covert ops unit of the Japanese National Public Safety Commission, which specialises in tackling technology-related crimes.

Live-action will be a tougher medium to work in than either the printed page or animation, but if James Cameron can find a way to shoot Avatar, it should be possible to make a good Ghost film. Assuming you can crack the story properly… And for more on that, and more on the original generally, be sure to read through our Ghost In The Shell crash course guide.

Onscreen, Robert Downey, Jr. and others make up an elite superhero team, but off-screen they are just like family.

With many thanks to my friend Claudia for her donations, I have added over 350 more photos of Scarlett attending last night’s London premiere of Avengers: Age of Ultron. There will no doubt be many more photos from the event added over the coming days and weeks, but for now, enjoy!

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