There's no doubt that Scarlett Johansson has a magical screen presence, conjuring up spellbinding performances in flicks like Lost in Translation, Match Point and now The Avengers.
But apparently she didn't have the juju for Jumanji!
During her early days in the biz, Johansson auditioned for the lead role in the 1995 effects-heavy fantasy spectacle Jumanji, about a mystical board game come to life. She didn't get the role, as we know, but her audition tape for it has now surfaced, giving us a rare glimpse of a star in the making…
In the video, Johansson reads her lines, script in hand, opposite an off-camera casting director. Judging from when Jumanji was released, Johansson must have been about 10 years old here, but you can already glimpse the sparkling screen presence that would make her a star.
Her hair long and parted in the middle, the actress proves to be a natural in front of the camera, unselfconscious as she spews out dialogue with the confidence of a seasoned industry vet.
The role eventually went to Kirsten Dunst, who—in a serendipitous twist of fate—ended up becoming a fellow muse to Johansson's Lost in Translation director, Sofia Coppola.
Johansson wasn't down for long: Shortly after, she scored the lead in Robert Redford's big-screen adaptation of the Nicholas Evans best-seller The Horse Whisperer, and well, nothing else got lost in translation after that on her way to superstardom!