As a child, Johansson got into acting when her mom started taking her to auditions. She landed her first professional acting gig at the young age of eight in an off-Broadway production called “Sophistry” alongside Ethan Hawke. Although she tried out for commercials, she didn’t handle the rejection well, so her mother limited her to film auditions. She made her big-screen debut at just nine years old, playing John Ritter’s daughter in the fantasy comedy North. After minor roles in Just Cause and If Lucy Fell, she played Amanda in Manny Lo.
Scarlett Johansson received critical acclaim and a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Lead Female for her role in Manny Lo. One reviewer praised her charm, while another noted her peaceful aura and potential to become an important actress if she maintains it through puberty.
Johansson started her acting career with minor roles in movies like Fall and Home Alone 3. However, she got noticed for her outstanding portrayal of Grace MacLean in The Horse Whisperer, directed by Robert Redford, where she played a teenager who suffers from a traumatic riding accident. Her performance earned a nomination for the Most Promising Actress award at the Chicago Film Critics Association Award. Later in 1999, Johansson appeared in My Brother the Pig and also featured in Mandy Moore’s music video for the hit single “Candy”.