Scarlett Johansson is in my lounge room. I repeat: the world’s highest-paid/most beautiful/eminently acclaimed actor is sitting across from me at my cheap Ikea dining room table. It’s 6.30 am and I’m regretting not waking up an hour earlier to fluff the pillows on my couch. I say a silent prayer that she doesn’t notice my boyfriend’s well-worn ugg boots in the corner of the heavily concealed bags under my eyes from the early start (and a night’s sleep broken by excitement energy and nervous dreams about my alarm not going off).
If it’s not abundantly obvious, I’m not used to hosting A-list celebrities in my tiny Sydney apartment before dawn – let alone Johansson, the superstar from the Sofia Coppola classic Lost in Translation, recent hits Marriage Story and Jojo Rabbit, and upcoming blockbuster Black Widow, which we’re here to discuss on this dark winter morning. “We are so bloody excited for Black Widow to finally be coming out next year after that Avengers: Endgame finale and several push backs” I blurt out, instantly kicking myself for revealing my inner bogan so soon. Who says “bloody” in their first breath talking to Hollywood royalty?
Luckily, Johansson is well-versed in Aussie slang, having worked closely with Australian director Cate Shortland [whose film credits include Somersault, Lore, and Berlin Syndrome] on the aforementioned Marvel blockbuster. “I’m an enormous fan of Cate’s. She’s a very special artist, who’s not afraid to show beauty and ugliness. She’s deeply feeling, profound – and crass,” says Johansson with an easy laugh, sitting crossed-legged on her New York couch, with two publicists logged in to our Zoom call. OK, so she might not physically be in my lounge room, but Johansson is so engaging, warm and charming, it feels like she is.
Pull up a cheap Ikea dining chair and join us …
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