Jen Jul 12, 2022

FORBES – She may be best known to many for playing a larger-than-life superhero in some of the highest-grossing blockbuster movies, but just as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand, so has the business world for actor, producer, and entrepreneur Scarlett Johansson.

As the Founder and Chair of the new skincare line The Outset, a brand that recently launched back in March, the 37-year-old Black Widow star has dedicated years striving to better understand the beauty industry, while playing an integral part in the creation of The Outset products that exist today.

“Being introduced to an entirely new industry, all of that has been quite an adventure,” Johansson says during our exclusive conversation. “Now finally having the products being in development with other pieces that we will add into the collection and just getting the feedback from people and having those return customers and people that just swear by this line, it really is a dream come true. It took five years to see it through, but now it’s actually here and a reality and working and growing and it’s very, very exciting.”

One of The Outset’s most unique ingredients is its signature Hyaluroset Complex, a botanical alternative to hyaluronic acid, delivering immediate and lasting hydration to the skin. The five available products out on the market today are the antioxidant cleanser, the vegan prep serum, the nourishing daily moisturizer, the restorative night cream, and the smoothing expression lines cream, which Johansson playfully tells me is her husband Colin Jost’s favorite product to use.

In late April, just over a month after The Outset products became available for purchase on the company’s website, Johansson and her Co-Founder & CEO Kate Foster expanded the accessibility of their products by making them available in-store and online at over 500 Sephora locations across the United States.

Just as actors tend to take the time to prepare for their next role, Johansson has brought that same mindset to her skincare business approach. With Foster having previously spent a decade in beauty, a decade in fashion, and a handful of years in entrepreneurship before The Outset, she has witnessed firsthand the dedication that Johansson brings to her work.

“She did spend three years on this project really getting educated on the beauty landscape, on the industry, understanding the different paths available to her to bring this concept to life,” Foster shares with me about Johansson. “I think by the time that she and I got together, she had really already had a master class in the beauty industry and knew what she wanted, but also more importantly, what she didn’t want.”

When I asked Foster about the value that Johansson continues to bring to The Outset team, she says of her Hollywood movie star business partner, “She’s so loved by a very vibrant community who is following us and participating in The Outset story on social [media]. She is such a global powerhouse and it’s very well-earned that it is obviously a huge asset for the brand – but still, we don’t think of ourselves as a celebrity brand. We think of ourselves as this indie brand with a superpower.”

Now that Johansson has found her entrepreneurial footing and knows what it takes to get a start-up company off the ground, I wondered what has been the greatest learning curve so far throughout her business experiences with The Outset.

“Oh my gosh, the whole thing has been such a learning curve. When you have all these different ingredients that come from different places and then are put together in another place and processed in a very certain way. Dealing with quality control and making sure that stuff is then packaged correctly and everything is being mindfully produced. Having a project that is so focused on these kind of conscious choices, there is just a big learning curve there, but that’s also the most exciting thing about having a start-up.”

For Johansson, seeing the ongoing positive feedback that The Outset is receiving goes far beyond just a professional satisfaction for her, but also feels somewhat personal after she struggled for years to achieve a more clear and healthy complexion in front of the public eye.

“I have had very sensitive skin for a long time, as far back as I can remember. Skin is such a huge part of your own feeling of self-confidence, especially in the industry that I’m in and having other people comment on and notice your skin all the time and end up being photographed and dissected in all these ways. I definitely forever [was] looking for some solution to the issues that I was having.”

The two-time Oscar nominee goes on to say that she felt there was an opportunity to create clean skincare essentials that were universally simple, effective, and easy to understand. After years of being the face behind popular marketing campaigns for longtime businesses like L’Oréal and Dolce & Gabbana, I wondered what it means to Johansson today to now not only have a seat at the table with The Outset, but to also be a leader and top decision maker with her own skincare company.

“It’s really exciting. It think it mirrors very much what I’ve done in my acting career, which has moved into production and development. I think for a long time, I worked for other beauty brands and cosmetic companies and I had wonderful experiences learning with them but there came a time where I felt like I didn’t want to be someone else’s version of a beauty ideal – and so, I took it upon myself to kind of dive into the unknown and then you get to write your own story when you take that road. Especially when you have somebody like Kate, a founding partner that really can be your sounding board, that to me is very fulfilling as a career person and somebody who’s interested in business.”

In a competitive beauty industry where it seems as if today’s consumers have endless skincare options to choose from, I asked Johansson for her personal opinion on how The Outset stands out from other available brands in their field.

“We really like to think of ourselves as ‘the white t-shirt of skincare.’ We play very well with others and it’s not about having a crazy multi-step routine where if you skip a step, it doesn’t complete the process or you can’t also use what other favorite things you have at home. You really can use The Outset with whatever else you have going on. It layers so well under makeup – it’s truly for all skin types and particularly for sensitive skin types. We wanted it to feel like a reliable pillar for people to be able to comfortably use every day and that is how we stand out from a very crowded space.”

Now after all of the knowledge and wisdom she has gained in bringing The Outset from a simple idea to an active business, I wondered what Johansson will now bring to her Hollywood projects moving forward, following her entrepreneurial experiences.

“I think those two, there are a lot of similarities between production and having a brand like The Outset – having a start-up. I think that there are no ideas that are not worth throwing on the table. You want to be open to the collaborative process and hearing everybody out and the best idea I think wins. I found that to be very true in filmmaking, as well. There’s a lot of different ways to get a good result and want to make sure you exhaust all possibilities and feel like everybody has a shared goal and is confident enough to also share their means of getting there. Just having that space where people can really thrive in a collaborative way, I think is how you get the best result and it’s true certainly in the start-up and you can certainly apply that to filmmaking and film production for sure.”

As Johansson, Foster, and their team look to the future for The Outset, expansion remains their focused goal while staying true to their purpose of why they created this skincare line in the first place.

“There will be different sizes that are coming out. We have travel sizes coming, our refillables are also coming because obviously a big part of our effort is to not create more waste. We try to be conscious about our footprint. We have several really exciting products that are in the pipeline that will be coming out a little later this year. We want to make sure that we are doing everything mindfully and it’s a slow burn, but we want the whole line to be very thoughtful and not having anything that’s excessive and that everything is part of the same story – that’s really important for us.”

As I wrapped up my conversation with Johansson, I wondered what it would have meant to her to have a skincare line like The Outset around during the years that she struggled with her skin.

“It was such a long time. I was in my mid-20s before I finally understood how to take of my skin and I had been struggling for over 10 years at that point. I wish there had been something like The Outset – having the trust in a line like that would have just saved me a lot of grief and a lot of unhappiness with how I was presenting on the outside. I’m very thankful now that I can confidently endorse this line for my friends and their teenagers, because it really does make a difference when you feel great about the way that you look on the outside, it helps all the stuff on the inside, too.”

Jen Jun 09, 2022

DEADLINEEXCLUSIVE: Scarlett Johansson’s new movie, My Mother’s Wedding, that’s also Kristin Scott Thomas’ feature directorial debut has added BAFTA and Golden Globe nominee Sienna Miller, SAG ensemble winner Freida Pinto and Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Emily Beecham. Cameras are currently rolling, Deadline hears.

Details with regard to the pic’s plot are under wraps, but Thomas wrote it with John Micklethwait. Producers are Finola Dwyer and Steven Rales.

Back in 2017, it was reported that Thomas was making her feature directorial debut with The Sea Change, based on Elizabeth Jane Howard’s novel of the same name. This is not that project, nor did it come to fruition.

Miller received a 2013 Golden Globe nomination in the Best Actress TV Miniseries/Movie category and BAFTA Best Leading Actress nom for HBO’s The Girl in which she played Tippi Hedren to Toby Jones’ Alfred Hitchcock. She also received a 2008 BAFTA nom in the Rising Star category. She exploded on the stateside scene in 2006 with her turn as Edie Sedgwick in 2006’s Factory Girl and continued on to big parts in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, American Sniper, Foxcatcher, The Lost City of Z, Live by Night, The Catcher Was a Spy, 21 Bridges and is starring as Erin Fleming in Oren Moverman’s Groucho Marx movie, Raised Eyebrows.

Pinto will next be seen in Mr. Malcolm’s List, directed by Emma Holly Jones, set for release via Bleecker Street on July 1. Additionally, the star of the Oscar winning Best Picture Slumdog Millionaire recently launched her production company Freebird Films, developing provocative stories with the intention of challenging stale assumptions, reflecting and celebrating diversity, uplifting the work and lives of intrepid women and revealing everyday heroes. The company has 18 projects in various stages of development including the highly anticipated Netflix limited series The Henna Artist, based on Alka Joshi’s bestselling novel, with Pinto starring and executive producing. Pinto won a SAG feature ensemble award for Slumdog Millionaire and was BAFTA nominated for the film in the supporting actress category. Her feature credits include Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Immortals, Knight of Cups, Only, Hillbilly Elegy and Intrusion.

Beecham won Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019 for Jessica Hausner’s Little Joe. Her feature credits include 28 Weeks Later; Hail, Caesar!, Cruella, Guy Ritchie’s The Interpreter and Mikael Håfström’s Slingshot.

Miller is repped by WME, United Agents and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller, Gellman, Meigs & Fox. Pinto is repped by CAA and Principal Entertainment LA. Beecham is repped by ICM Partners, Accelerate and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman, Smelkinson & Christopher.

Johansson is represented by CAA and Yorn, Levine, Barnes; Thomas by Agence Adequat in France, CAA, Independent Talent Group in the UK and Lichter, Grossman, Nichols; and Lenkiewicz by Casarotto Ramsay & Associates.

Jen Apr 23, 2022

WELL + GOOD – It’s 10 a.m. on a sunny Monday morning in early April, and I’m standing in New York City’s Highbridge Park shoveling dirt onto a freshly planted baby tree. A hundred yards away, Scarlett Johansson is wearing a Yankees cap and simple cargo pants, and she’s up to her elbows in mulch. In honor of Earth Month, her new skin-care brand, the Outset, partnered with One Tree Planted, a nonprofit dedicated to global reforestation efforts, and she—along with her co-founder Kate Foster Lengyel—were spending this particular morning getting their hands dirty to contribute to cause: planting 25,000 trees.
The brand, which launched last month, prides itself on being a beauty brand that centers sustainability and minimalist values. This ethos is exemplified in everything from its packaging (which is made from recyclable glass and post-consumer recycled plastic) and its supply chain (the brand’s factories are 100 percent wind-powered and carbon neutral) to its partnerships (in addition to One Tree Planted, the brand also works with Dress For Success and 1% For the Planet).

The Outset is that inherently optimistic idea that every day is a chance for a fresh beginning and a new start,” says Foster. “And so with our philanthropic efforts, the idea is to support new beginnings for people for the planet. That’s why we partnered with One Tree Planted for all of Earth Month. Our philosophy is that we’re a consistent, everyday brand, and that’s how we’re showing up with our philanthropic efforts, as well—in these kinds of consistent everyday ways that we can support the causes that are meaningful to us and to our customers.”

With that in mind, “simplicity” is the driving force behind everything that the Outset does. The brand’s product line includes what people need for a well-rounded routine and nothing else: a cleanser, a serum, a moisturizer, and an eye cream. This is in part to ensure their products are accessible to a wide range of complexions, but it’s also a means to help consumers minimize the amount of waste they’re creating with their skin care.

“We wanted to have as little environmental impact as possible,” says Johansson. “There’s a lot of stuff out there, and I think it would be irresponsible of us not to take that into consideration. That kind of mindfulness is a big part of our brand DNA.”

During the month of April, the brand is donating 10 percent of its sales up to $25,000 to One Tree Planted to support wildfire restoration efforts in California. For every dollar donated, there will be one tree planted, adding up to a total of 25,000 trees. And on the other side of the country in NYC, in addition to the individual trees that Johansson, Lengyel, and their team (and I!) planted, the brand also donated $17,000 to fund urban planting organized by the nonprofit New York Restoration Project. Considering trees in NYC remove 2,000 tons of pollution and sequester 42,300 tons of carbon, these small steps can make a big difference.

Regarding bigger impact potential, Lengyel and Johansson hope the Outset’s initiatives will inspire the rest of the beauty industry to take note. “I think if you show people that they can use products that are clean and also effective, and that are good for you and have less impact, that’s important,” says Johansson. “The industry is so consumer-driven, so in being proactive and [showing them those products exist], large companies will be forced to follow suit. It’s our goal to be a part of that story.”

Jen Mar 31, 2022

DEADLINEEXCLUSIVE: Here’s a hot one. Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) and Chris Evans (Captain America) are set to star in buzzy new movie package Project Artemis, we can reveal, with Ozark star, director and exec-producer Jason Bateman aboard to direct.

That’s not all. Fresh off its Best Picture Oscar win for Coda, Apple has swooped in on the in-demand package in a $100M+ deal. CAA cut the deal on behalf of the producers. This marks another massive purchase for the studio following a year that saw them pay more than $200M for both the Matthew Vaughn package Argyle and the untitled F1 racing pic starring Brad Pitt.

Plot details are being kept tightly under wraps but we hear the project is set against the space race. Screenplay comes from Rose Gilroy, daughter of writer-director Dan Gilroy and actress René Russo.

Two-time Oscar nominee Johansson will produce with Jonathan Lia and Keenan Flynn through their These Pictures production company, which commissioned and developed the script. Bateman will produce via his Aggregate Films banner.

Evans and Johansson have been looking for projects to team up on following the end of their Avengers days and came close on Ghosted, another hot package that Apple scooped up. Johansson fell off after scheduling conflicts with Ana de Armas stepping in. That film is currently filming but everything works out in the end as the two A-listers and old friends get a second chance at teaming up again.

Apple and Johansson are also teaming up on Bride, which the actress is starring in and producing for Oscar-winning director Sebastián Lelio. That project is currently in development.

Apple, which on Sunday became the first streamer to win Best Picture, is on a roll. Potentially releasing this year are Martin Scorsese’s Killer’s Of The Flower Moon and Taron Egerton starrer Tetris. The company made waves a couple of years ago with the massive deal for Antoine Fuqua package Emancipation, which could also debut in 2022 (though the Will Smith Oscar drama may delay things).

Avengers, Marriage Story and Lost In Translation star Johansson is in post on Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City. Captain America, Avengers and Knives Out star Evans is in post on Pixar’s Lightyear and the Russo’s The Gray Man.

Led by Bateman and Michael Costigan, Aggregate’s slate includes FX’s A Teacher; plus the upcoming FX limited series Under The Banner Of Heaven; Florida Man for Netflix; Lessons In Chemistry for Apple; and the Netflix feature Your Place Or Mine. Ozark launches its final seven episodes this April.

Johansson is represented by CAA and Yorn Levine. Evans is represented by CAA, 3Arts and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern. Bateman is represented by CAA, Lighthouse Management + Media, and Hansen Jacobson. Gilroy is represented by UTA, Mosaic, and attorney Howard Abramson.

Jen Mar 16, 2022

Scarlett visited her longtime friend Drew Barrymore on her morning talk show this morning to talk about The Outset, dating advice, as well as answering Drew’s ‘Final Five’ questions. If you missed it this morning, the interview is below!

Jen Mar 04, 2022

Scarlett was in the studio yesterday with Ryan Seacrest to talk about The Outset!