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Her next movie is for a dozen reasons you already know: She's wiped out from the photo shoot, wearing no makeup, different shoes, different bra, and so on."I'm exhausted and this is my last day in the world," she says, sunglasses off now.
Hers is an unstressed beauty, which may be why her look is so mutable, more slender than buxom and fleshy. "She holds her hands out, palms up, and smiles into a what-do-you-think shrug.
So my printed line reads A BIRD IN THE HAND IS WORTH TWO IN THE BIRD. You could say she was eager, a movie star all the way, uncowered and free.
Scarlett offers hers for me to take to a graphologist for an analysis of character.
And that is not what you'd call a problem exactly; it just wears you out. "It's a contemporary house, with a modern Swedish slant." For whatever reason—my own prejudices, a tone I mistakenly pick up on in her voice, beach houses I have known—I assume she's saying, the way people do when they rent, that the furniture sucks but it's fine because the water's right outside. The conversation is fully shared by the both of us then. " she says to me at one point."I don't know," I tell her.
I've stood around bogs wearing half a million dollars' worth of jewelry, up to my knees in the rot, thinking how much more or less the place smelled like a sewer than it did the day before. I'm a twenty-eight-year-old woman in the movie business, right? "Pretty soon the roles you're offered all become mothers. I have to hedge against that with work—theater, producing, this thing with Esquire."Then, as if she hears herself, she looks straight at me and says: "Sounds pretty bloodless, I guess."She'll spend her vacation on the beach in the Hamptons, in a house she rents with friends. "She smiles wryly and speaks softly, unruffled and clear. "Not like Ikea."Pretty soon, we've sat there for more than an hour. There's a guy two doors down from me who has four goats. He could have chickens.""True.""Chickens scare me," she says. "You gotta step a long way off from a goose."A moment goes by, then two, when, just like that, she claps her hands.
"Just give it to them that way." She bites a thin hook of sweet orange pepper. Scarlett just plain operates in the world, which can make her seem a little chilly at first, even sour. She's been at it long enough to have done most of it before. To let yourself care that much that the emotion might hurt you a little." "So it's okay, even if you have no reason to be jealous? A beautiful woman, luminously watching a cloudy, unilluminated afternoon from behind the clamp of some large, large sunglasses. You can't ask an astrologer to work unless he can see the stars." Which is really not true. She's not one of those who pine for the privacy lost to celebrity, nor does she tell teary stories of some paparazzo who stalked her in the doorway of a cupcake shop. You just go round the board, then round again.""Sounds meditative," she says. "That would be very pleasant, I think, to start the day by playing cards."I offer what wisdom I've taken from the habit: "It clears my head, makes me more rational.""I don't really aspire to being rational. "Like, it's okay to be jealous, for example, which people think is irrational. But I'd rather be with someone who's a little jealous than someone who's never jealous. Not that I liked my partner less, I just wasn't capable of it or caring that much."Evening is coming on, and the vegetables have become soggy and picked-at. I drive out to Long Island — Amagansett, at the eastern end — and we meet at a lobster shack. This is a day in the middle of the aforementioned staycation, her thirty days of time off after seven months of work without cease."Hey."I had forgotten about the voice. In any space, it seems Scarlett Johansson is always closer than other women, even though right now she's sitting in a way-over-there chair on the other side of the glass table, taking in the rollicking lunch crowd over my shoulder, with her back to the wall.Four-fifty on a Thursday afternoon, deep in a shadowy bar at a hotel called the Nomad, downtown Manhattan, and Scarlett Johansson actually wants to write. What I want to do right now is sleep late, read the paper. She's asking me things as if she knows me, which is, of course, about as true in reverse as well. I give her a little hotel pad, maybe four-by-six, which she grabs in her small, ringless fingers. I've come to see that there's something pretty great about having two hours to read." Why accept the title Sexiest Woman Alive if everything is so busy just now?