At age 7, Johansson starts auditioning for commercials and becomes disinterested. "It was like a cattle call," she tells Allure in 2005. "[My mom and I] decided I'd just go out for film. I didn't want to promote Wonder Bread." After taking weekend acting classes at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in Manhattan, an 8-year-old Johansson appears opposite Ethan Hawke in an off-Broadway production of Sophistry. "I had two lines," she tells Allure.
In Rob Reiner's North, Johansson, 9, makes her film debut as John Ritter's daughter. "I remember going onto the set of my first film and, for some reason, I just knew what to do, instinctively. It was like, I don't know...fate," she tells New York Magazine in 2004. As fate has it, an 11-year-old Johansson draws notice – and an Independent Spirit Award nod – for her performance as one of two orphaned sisters who run away from a foster home in Manny & Lo.
Johansson's standout performance as a young teenager who loses her leg in a horse-riding accident in The Horse Whisperer puts her on the map. Her director and costar Robert Redford famously calls her "13 going on 30." She tells Esquire in 2005, "That film changed things for me in a lot of ways. I went through this realization that acting, at its heart, is the ability to manipulate your own emotions."
Johansson, fresh out of high school, stars in Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation, playing a lonely twentysomething who befriends Bill Murray during a trip to Tokyo. The film opens to rave reviews, catapulting Johansson onto Hollywood's A-List and earning her a Best Comedic Actress Golden Globe nomination.
Girl with a Pearl Earring hits theaters. Johansson earns her second Best Actress Golden Globe nod for portraying a quiet 17th century Dutch maid, the inspiration for Johannes Vermeer's famous painting. "It was emotionally draining, but not difficult," she says of the role to New York Magazine. "It's much easier to let the emotions play across your face than to have to fumble around with silly dialogue."
Johansson is first spotted hanging out with actor Jared Leto in L.A. Johansson never discusses the relationship; the two are an off-and-on item for the next year.
Cementing her status as an A-list actress, Johansson releases two movies on the same day: In Good Company with Topher Grace and A Love Song for Bobby Long with John Travolta. She goes on to earn her third Golden Globe nod for Bobby Long.
Johansson gets close to actor Josh Hartnett. Spotted at Live 8 in London, "They were on their own, very kissy," a backstage source tells PEOPLE. "She was on his lap and kept burying her head in his shoulder. They were clearly very loved up."
Johansson makes her action movie debut opposite Ewan McGregor in The Island. "It [was] exhausting! I've never run so much in my life," she tells PEOPLE. "We'd work 16 hours a day, and then we'd hit the gym for two hours."
Match Point–a Woody Allen thriller in which Johansson plays a jilted lover–hits theatres. "He lets me call him Woodrow," she tells Allure of the famous director, who describes her to Vogue as "criminally sexy." The following summer, she stars opposite Hugh Jackman in Allen's Scoop and is cast in the director's Spanish comedy Vicky Cristina Barcelona with Penélope Cruz.
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