Scarlett Johansson became a Tony Award nominee today (in the category of Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play) and, in the process, reaffirmed her claim as an actress of substance. In 2003, at the tender age of 18, Johansson became a critical darling for her leading role in 'Lost in Translation', winning a Bafta and a Golden Globe nomination for her minimal, precocious performance. Although I would definitely call myself a fan, it feels like she has not lived up to her potential in recent years, with her acting career becoming increasingly sidetracked for her full-time career as a celebrity, one who is more visible for her ad campaigns, selling products as diverse as Moet & Chandon champagne, Mango clothing, Dolce & Gabbana cosmetics and Calvin Klein fragrances, than for her acting. I am glad that with her Broadway debut, in the highly-acclaimed revival of Arthur Miller's 'A View from the Bridge', Ms Johansson can redirect attention to her acting talent.
Other screen favorites, from both film and television, proved their mettle as 'legit' actors today by scoring their first Tony nominations. Amongst the nominees are Emmy-winners Kelsey Grammar (La Cage aux Folles) and Sean Hayes (Promises, Promises), as well as Oscar-winners Denzel Washington (Fences), Christopher Walken (A Behanding in Spokane) and Catherine Zeta-Jones (A Little Night Music). Zeta-Jones' 'Night Music' costar, the legendary Angela Lansbury, is poised to win a record-breaking sixth competitive Tony, this time, for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical.
Speaking of acting greats, I must pay tribute to the magnificent Oscar and Tony-nominated Lynn Redgrave, who passed away after a long battle with breast cancer on Monday. The Great White Way will dim its lights in her honor tonight.
For the full list of nominees for this year's Tony Awards, click here.