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Scarlett Johansson excited to balance hollywood and motherhood

What's the latest with Scarlett Johansson? Well, it looks like 2014 is going to be a really great year for the actress. The 29-year-old actress got engaged to French journalist and creative agency manager Romain Dauriac in September 2013, and the happy couple are expecting their first child in August. In 2014 Johansson will appear in three new films, and she will finish shooting the upcoming "Avengers: Age of Ultron." After the baby is born, she will begin work on "Black Widow," the first film to let her Avengers character take the spotlight.

Scarlett Johansson's 2014 success really began with a film released in late 2013. Spike Jonze's "Her," in which Johansson played the voice-only role of intelligent operating system "Samantha," was nominated for four Academy Awards and ended up winning the 2014 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. This film's success was a special coup for Johansson because she was not the original actress hired to voice Samantha; director Spike Jonze filmed "Her" with Samantha Morton in the lead role and then, at the last minute, asked Johansson to step in and revoice the character. This decision helped propel "Her" into the spotlight and helped secure Johansson's standing as one of Hollywood's most talented actresses.

Of course, the real question in fans' minds right now has to do with how Johansson's pregnancy will affect her work in the upcoming "Avengers: Age of Ultron" film. The character of Black Widow, which Johansson has played in three films thus far, is known for her tight-fitting bodysuits and acrobatic martial arts skills. With neither of these characteristics meshing well with pregnancy, "Avengers" director Joss Whedon is fast tracking Johansson's scenes, so she will be able to complete her work on the film before her pregnancy becomes a hindrance. "Avengers: Age of Ultron" is still scheduled for release on May 1, 2015 with all of Black Widow's scenes intact.

Black Widow also made an appearance in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," which was filmed in 2013 and premiered in Hollywood on March 13, 2014 – its general release is April 4. Johansson proudly showed off her baby bump as she walked the red carpet at the "Captain America" premiere.

Another Johansson film, "Chef," is scheduled for release on May 9, 2014. She only has a cameo in this movie, which tells the story of a chef forced to open a food truck after getting fired. "Chef" received positive reviews at the South by Southwest film festival and is likely to be a fun indie flick for the spring.

Following her cameo in "Chef," Scarlett Johansson will play the title role in "Lucy," a film that will premiere on August 8, 2014. "Lucy" tells the story of a young woman who works as a drug mule in Taipei, Taiwan. When the drugs she is carrying are accidentally absorbed into her system, she develops superhuman powers, including the ability to move objects with her mind. Johansson plays opposite film legend Morgan Freeman and "Oldboy" star Choi Min-sik.

After "Lucy," the next big news will be the birth of Johansson and Romain Dauriac's first child. She has told the media she is excited about combining Hollywood and motherhood and is very much looking forward to this new stage in her life. Her fans are no doubt eager to see how she handles motherhood, and what she and Dauriac plan to name their firstborn.

After the baby arrives, Scarlett Johansson is scheduled to begin work on "Black Widow," the first of the many Avengers tie-in films to let the character of Natasha Romanoff take center stage. After three "Iron Man," two "Thor" and two "Captain America" films, it is about time for the lone female Avenger to have her moment in the sun. If "Black Widow" is a success, it will likely be followed by at least one sequel.

2014 is scheduled to be a very big year for Scarlett Johansson. "Her" won an Oscar, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is likely to be the top-grossing film at its opening weekend and "Chef" and "Lucy" will help establish Johansson's ability to combine major action movies with quirky indie films. Her pregnancy and the birth of her first child will, of course, be even more important than all her films and her current Hollywood success. However, Scarlett Johansson doesn't plan to quit her day job. She'll be back on screen, playing Black Widow and helping lead the Avengers to glory, combining Hollywood and motherhood as one of the film world's most bankable stars.

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