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Career Watch: Scarlett Johansson, Beyond the Black Bodysuit

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood May 7, 2012 at 3:40PM

Scarlett Johansson's role as Black Widow in "The Avengers" would be unnecessary if the superhero rulebook didn't require at least one buxom babe in black spandex. Thus secret agent Johansson plays a distant fiddle to Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans et al's super-human powers. Although her assassin has no superpower--other than outsmarting, interrogating and shooting and beating people to death ("looking puzzled or confused")--thanks to Joss Whedon's box office hit, attention is back on Johansson the kick-ass action babe rather than Johansson the nude-photo-hacking-scandal babe. But is Black Widow the best Johansson can do?

This article is related to: Career Watch, Scarlett Johansson, Woody Allen, Sofia Coppola, Directors, Genres, Headliners, Media, Features

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.