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Springer Berman and Pulcini turned to one of America's leading young actresses, Scarlett Johansson, to play Annie. "Scarlett has been great at playing a glamorous role, or a vixen, but prior to SCOOP, I don't think movies have taken advantage of her comic ability,” says Springer Berman. "People underestimate how terrific she is at playing an ordinary person with insecurities. She's also very good at physical comedy—her pratfalls were amazing.” "Scarlett has great wit, great timing, and is also a great dramatic actress,” say Pulcini. "We've always admired her and imagined her in the role,”

Annie's not quite like anybody I've ever played,” says Johansson. "Even though she's sort of lost—and I've done characters like that before—she's quite confident in herself as a woman. I think that's the difference between her and someone like Charlotte in LOST IN TRANSLATION. There's also a youthfulness to her that's different from my other characters.” 

Two-time Oscar nominee Laura Linney (THE SQUID AND THE WHALE, KINSEY, YOU CAN COUNT ON ME) joined the cast as the spoiled socialite Mrs. X. "It was great to cast Laura in a role where she can be really glamorous,” says Springer Berman. "I think she has this person in her, but I don't think she's played that role a lot.” "Laura is a great actress but she wasn't an obvious choice,” says Pulcini. "People associate her with more earthy roles, but she actually grew up on the East Side.” "I didn't grow up inside the world of Mrs. X, but I certainly saw a lot of it,” says Linney. "I went to a school where many of the girls were daughters of Mrs. X-types. I'm more aware of this lifestyle now than when I was younger, but I certainly saw glimpses of it then.” 

Another casting choice that might seem offbeat is AMERICAN SPLENDOR's Paul Giamatti as Mr. X. "People assume because of the roles Paul plays in movies that he is an uneducated working class guy,” says Springer Berman, "but in fact, he's the son of A. Bartlett Giamatti, who was the President of Yale and the Commissioner of Baseball. Paul went to a boarding school, and has multiple degrees from Yale. He's moved in those circles all his life, and he's also a fantastic actor—in my opinion, the greatest actor there is. One of the things Bob and I like to do is cast people in roles we haven't seen them in. It was also interesting to cast Paul as an unsympathetic character, because he's so well-known for being sympathetic—and see what he can do.” 

"I actually like playing the bad guy,” says Giamatti. "It's fun. I pop in every now and then and bark at somebody or do something creepy. Mr. X is so excessively unpleasant and awful, and a lot of time is spent never looking at his face, so there's this great anticipation of what's he's going to look like—and then he looks like me! He's not the sort of Aryan guy you think he's going to be.”

Giamatti has known Laura Linney socially for a long time, but has never really acted with her (although they both were in THE TRUMAN SHOW) before THE NANNY DIARIES. "She's one of those people that make you a hell of a lot better just being around them,” says Giamatti. "She's definitely one of the best actresses around. And she's also very funny.” 

A pivotal part of the story of THE NANNY DIARIES is how Annie falls in love with her charge, Grayer X, played by 7-year-old Nicholas Reese Art. In order for the story to work, the audience would have to feel their bond, how it would be impossible for Annie to leave him, despite the oppressiveness of her job. "When Scarlett read with Nick, we wanted to be absolutely sure that they had chemistry,” says Pulcini. "When I first met with Nick,” says Johansson, "I recognized something in him and I felt a kinship to him immediately. He's a regular kid, but when it comes time to film he's amazingly focused.” "The truth is, while we were making the movie, Scarlett<

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