April 2, 2009
Scarlett Johansson ads to her resume
Ever wonder how Scarlett Johansson, a beautiful, but unremarkable talent, became the perfect post-millennial movie star?
Her film career is only partly responsible. While her turn in “Lost in Translation”—the Sofia Coppola film that made her—was Johansson’s finest moment on screen, her qualities as an actress haven’t advanced much in the 16 films she’s made since then. She has, however, established a brand playing glamorous roles—the queen, the temptress, the muse—but in mostly dull films like “The Island,” “The Prestige,” and “The Other Boleyn Girl.” With only a smattering of respectable fare, and a savvy partnership with Woody Allen, Johansson has parlayed her film brand into commercial iconography.
And she chose well: There was a music video with Bob Dylan, and another with Justin Timberlake; TV commercials for Gap, Calvin Klein and L’oreal; and really sexy print ads for Louis Vuitton, Dolce and Gabbana and Estee Lauder. In each of those, she cast herself as her preferred version of starlet and the images are irresistible. The creation of her own music album solidified her status as a fully fleshed out character; Johansson wisely realized a chanteuse is more powerful than a silent type.
And now her latest role—a champagne spurting goddess for Moet & Chandon—will serve her better than any Oscar. Because bankability is everything in Hollywood and in this, Johansson is not scarlet, she’s golden.