Tu 5/4: Scarlett Johansson, Frank Caliendo, Michael Bolton on the THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO, NBC . Scarlett Johansson; Universally known as one of the sexiest women in Hollywood, Scarlett Johansson has actually been acting professionally since the age of eight. A native of New York City, where she was born on November 22, 1984, Johansson was raised — along with her twin brother — as the youngest of four children, and she developed an interest in acting at the age of three. After enrolling in classes at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute for Young People, she made her stage debut opposite Ethan Hawke in the off-Broadway production of -Sophistry. Her film debut followed in 1994, when she had a supporting role in North, and she subsequently appeared in the little-seen Just Cause (1995) and If Lucy Fell (1996). Johansson had her first significant screen breakthrough with her role as one of two orphaned teenaged sisters in Manny & Lo (1996), a coming-of-age drama directed by Lisa Krueger. Johansson, who shared the screen with Aleksa Palladino and Mary Kay Place, earned an Independent Spirit Award Best Actress nomination for her work in the film, and she soon found herself being tapped by Robert Redford to star as Kristin Scott Thomas’ daughter in The Horse Whisperer (1998). Although the film met with a very mixed reception, Johansson was widely praised for her portrayal of a girl who loses her leg and her best friend in a horrific accident. In 2000, the actress signed on to play one of the heroines (alongside Thora Birch) of Terry Zwigoff’s screen adaptation of Ghost World, Daniel Clowes’ celebrated comic about the adventures of two teen girls grappling with post-high school life. That same year, she starred in American Rhapsody, in which she portrayed a young girl who escapes communist Hungary in the 1950s and travels to the U.S. Though she would take a brief detour into camp with the 2002 giant spider fiasco Eight Legged Freaks, the respect Johansson had gained in the film industry as a result of her previous dramatic roles found the young actress in high demand among indie directors while quickly catching the eye of the Hollywood elite. With Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation, Johansson’s touching performance as a young girl who strikes a tentative friendship with a washed-up American actor (memorably portrayed by Bill Murray) left no doubts regarding her dramatic skills, and although a Best Actress Oscar nomination eluded her, she received a boatload of nods from critics’ groups and the Golden Globes. The rising starlet was soon cast in the lead of such subsequent films as The Girl with the Pearl Earring (2003) and The Perfect Score (2003). After sticking to form in 2004 with roles in In Good Company and A Love Song for Bobby Long, Johansson took her first stab at a lead role in a big budget Hollywood flick, starring opposite Ewan MacGregor in Michael Bay’s futuristic actioner The Island. While the picture was panned by critics and avoided by audiences, it did nothing to slow the young star down. She closed out the year by receiving virtually unanimous praise for her performance in Woody Allen’s Match Point. She immediately reteamed with Allen, who was full of praise for the young actress after their first collaboration, for the supernatural comedy/murder mystery Scoop in 2006. That same year she played a pivotal role in Robert De Palma’s adaptation of The Black Dahlia, while also filming an adaptation of The Nanny Diaries with Laura Linney and Paul Giamatti.
Suddenly she’s everywhere: Performing on “Gossip Girl.” Writing a song for Michael Bolton. Immolating a polar bear in the “Bad Romance” video. Unburdened by fears of overexposure, or pants, Lady Gaga is pop’s newest shiny thing, a real-life kewpie doll weaned on a steady diet of Wagner and Ecstasy. You have to hand it to Lady Gaga: She wasn’t really a superstar until she started acting (and Continue reading →
Having already conquered the Billboard albums chart, the fashion world and Israel’s obscenity laws, Lady Gaga has reportedly set her sights on dominating the buttoned-up world of adult contemporary. She’s written songs with none other than Michael Bolton. In an interview with London’s Metro newspaper, the 56-year-old Bolton — best known for his (formerly} flowing locks and husky takes on songs like “When a Man Loves a Woman” and “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” — said he has been working with Gaga on his upcoming album, One World One Love. The collaboration actually happened before Gaga went supernova — and it was apparently all her idea. “I was taking a break from production when my manager and the label tag-teamed me on the phone about writing with a young artist named Lady Gaga who I had never heard of — but they were raving about,” Bolton told the paper. “They said that she was a huge fan of mine and wanted to write with me. No one I knew had heard of her … but less than a minute into ‘Just Dance,’ I thought, ‘This CD is gonna be huge!’ ” So Bolton agreed to work with Gaga, and when the two finally met, he was taken by her energy and commitment … and realized right away that she was destined for greatness. “When I met her in the studio later that night, I realized she was not only about to have a big hit record, but Gaga was a superstar about to launch. … Her energy was so high and her focus excited me,” Bolton continued. “She reminded me of a young Madonna, with more exuberance and emphasis on the art rather than the marketing.” The Metro article does not mention the name of the song or songs that Gaga and Bolton collaborated on, but over the weekend, a track called “Murder My Heart” leaked, and apparently it’s the fruit of the duo’s labor (it’s definitely Bolton, and we think we hear Gaga on the backing track). Attempting to verify that fact, MTV News reached out to reps for both artists, but at press time, we had yet to receive a response. According to Bolton’s Web site, One World One Love is due September 21.