Scarlett Johansson Feeds Hungry Children
2009 WebMD Health Hero Scarlett Johansson is on a mission to feed hungry kids for a very personal reason. She used to be one of them.
Scarlett Johansson and Iron Man 2
Even when talking about her latest movie -- Iron Man 2, slated for release in 2010, in which she does all her own stunts as the Russian femme fatale Black Widow opposite Robert Downey Jr. -- Johansson inevitably steers the conversation around to someone else's challenges.
"It was a whole new world for me, but I built a lot of strength, that's for sure. Working on the wires and being suspended in the air, you throw one wrong kick or punch and, yeah, you're out of whack," she says. "But once you're working with the stunt crew and they're going through the craziest stuff, you feel bad about complaining that your knee has been blue for three months. The guys doing the stunts in those Iron Man suits, they can't move in it and can't take it off. I'd say, 'Have you peed today?' and they're like, 'No, we can't move, we can't take it off, we can't drink any water.'"
In September, Johansson auctioned off two tickets to join her on the red carpet for Iron Man 2's April premiere -- all proceeds going to Oxfam. Working on the film was "a total dream come true" for her. "I was such a fan of the first movie," she says. "It's just super action packed, and I'm so geeked out about it. Jon Favreau, the director, is also super geeked out about it, so we're in it together." To demonstrate her geeked-out-ness, Johansson happily joined Favreau to promote the film at the ultimate geekfest, San Diego's Comic-Con, in July.
Singer Scarlett Johansson
Johansson, who celebrated the first anniversary of her marriage to actor Ryan Reynolds in September, also has her hand in the music scene. In 2008, she released an album of Tom Waits covers called Anywhere I Lay My Head. This September, she followed that up with Break Up, a nine-song compilation recorded with singer-songwriter Pete Yorn -- recorded in 2006, but not on the shelf until now.
"The story we're telling is about a tumultuous affair, but the music is very upbeat and it's fun for us to perform," she says. "I have crippling stage fright, but Pete's been on tour for his entire life and he totally makes me feel comfortable." Yorn and Johansson made their live debut on French television on September 10, performing the album's first single, "Relator." "Red carpet appearance is WAYYY better," she tweeted the next morning. "I felt amazing but was really nervous."
She doesn't have any other musical projects in the works -- she's busy enough with film projects already, having signed to play Black Widow again in Favreau's next Marvel film, The Avengers. "It's something that's as much work as writing and producing a film, so for me, it would be all-encompassing." But it would be great to do a musical movie, she speculates, declaring her fondness for the all-musical episode of Seth MacFarlane's Family Guy.