Hasty Pudding Theatricals' "Woman of the Year Award"
Thursday, Feb. 15, 2007
Last Thursday, Scarlett Johansson was in Cambridge adding The Hasty Pudding Theatricals' "Woman of the Year" Award (also known as the Pudding Pot) to her entourage of titles for this year, which include Esquire's "Sexiest Woman Alive" and Playboy's "Sex Star of the Year." The Hasty Pudding, a Harvard student organization known for its performance of student-authored plays of a vaudevillian and burlesque nature, awards the Pudding Pot "annually to performers who have made a 'lasting and impressive contribution to the world of entertainment.'"
As is traditional, the awarding of the Pudding Pot began with a procession through Harvard Square. Despite the freezing temperatures, an army of men in drag, dancing bananas, and super-heroes on very springy stilts followed alongside Ms. Johansson. Whatever pittance of attention had been doted on Miss Massachusetts (who was also present) quickly evaporated as the hushed crowd erupted at the young starlet's arrival. The crowd quickly encircled her car as several of the young men in drag piled in alongside her. Despite organizers' best efforts, the parade's progress was consistently slowed by onlookers leaping in front of Ms. Johansson's vehicle hoping to get a glimpse, or if they were lucky, a quick photo.
Next, everyone was rushed over to the Agassiz Theatre for the roasting of the recipient and the presentation of the Pudding Pot. The roast featured Joshua M. Brener and Justin V. Rodriguez, (President and Vice President of Hasty Pudding, respectively) cracking jokes about Ms. Johansson's Golden Globes, what the age of the youngest man she was willing to make out with was, and whether or not she would sleep with one of them. While all of this was highly predictable, what was surprising were the terse answers and relative disconnectedness of Ms. Johansson, especially given her theatrical background.
As the production continued, it became increasingly apparent that Ms. Johansson was entirely at ease playing the absent-minded beautiful blonde. There was one problem, though: Ms. Johansson is not nearly as attractive in person as she appears on the screen. While she is often portrayed as a statuesque model, Ms. Johansson is strikingly short and her head is disproportionately large. This disappointment not withstanding, as the press corps awaited Ms. Johansson's arrival, this reporter remained optimistic that the young starlet was more charismatic in person than her earlier performance would suggest. Unfortunately, the following is a transcription of the events which transpired at the press conference.
The Harvard Crimson: I'm wondering about the quality of men that you've met so far at Harvard (laughs from the audience), specifically, whether our reputation as intellectuals gives us a leg up on the men you've met in the film industry.
Scarlett Johansson (playfully): What's that supposed to mean? (Laughs from the audience) Everybody's been very charming. They all came to the lunch in their fabulous suit and tie. I have to say it's the first time I've seen so many 21-year-old men in suit and tie before at a function. Everybody was very charming and I don't know whether I like them more in a suit and tie or the stockings.
Female Reporter #1: What are you going to do with the pudding pot?
SJ: I think it deserves probably ... well it needs a good shine now ... but I think it's probably going to go on the mantle right above the fireplace. Either that, or my mother's fondue pot.
Boston Herald: You can walk out with any man on any given day, and the next day you're in a relationship with them. I was wondering, who would you get the biggest kick out of being romantically linked with?
SJ: Being romantically linked with? Probably Patrick Swayze, I'd have to say. My dream come true.
Female Reporter #2: You enjoy Boston?
SJ: So far so good. Yeah. Except for the icy sidewalk it's all good.
Reuters: Obviously, the weather out there was a bit much for the guys in drag. Any words for them?
SJ: Oh yeah. I wouldn't be caught dead in a bra and panties on a day like this. Oh my goodness. I certainly felt for those boys ... or ladies as it were. They were suffering for their craft.
The Tech: Being around all these young Harvard men and being around the same age, are there any regrets you've had since you didn't have a typical college experience?
SJ: What are you missing? (Audience laughs) I mean it's great to be here and I think it's an incredible honor. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity, meeting with everybody. Certainly, seeing everyone on campus and seeing everybody at the lunch today, it's an amazing production. You know, I think it's really something. I can't believe ... I never had any experience like that. I mean, I never went to college. I don't think ... I wouldn't say that I have regrets about that. My life just was different. It took a different path and it didn't lead to Harvard. To my mother's dismay.
Life & Style: Regarding Justin Timberlake, would you like to address your friendship?
SJ (having not yet said a word about JT): Umm ... I think I already addressed that. We made a video together and we're friends and there's nothing more to say.
Ms. Johansson is obviously no stranger to formal events, regularly attending award ceremonies such as the Oscars and Golden Globes. While the natural condescension in her comments at the Pudding went largely unnoticed, there is perhaps more going on in her over-sized head than she lets on.