Every night, countless men dream about Scarlett Johansson, but only one guy can say his fantasy came true.

In 2006 singer-songwriter Pete Yorn dreamt that he and the burgeoning blond movie star recorded a duets album together. When he woke up, he did what any well-connected musician would do — he called Johansson and told her he wanted to work with her.

“I’ve known Pete for several years,” says Johansson on the phone from New York. “It was a welcome surprise to be asked to do the album.”

Yorn didn’t just want Johansson to sing on the album, though, he wanted her to channel another silver screen siren, Brigitte Bardot. He would play the part of Serge Gainsbourg, a legendary Parisian singer, and together the two would create a version of the 1968 duet disc, Bonnie and Clyde.

“When I thought of Brigitte, my mind just went to Scarlett,” says Yorn. “Whether I knew her or not my mind would have gone to her. I felt her presence. Whether she was a professional singer or not was irrelevant.”

At the time Yorn and Johansson made the disc, the actress had yet to record Anywhere I Lay My Head, her album of Tom Waits covers that came out last year. So when she went into the studio with Yorn, her singing credits were few and far between.

“When I was a kid I took a lot of vocal lessons,” she reveals. “And I had recorded a couple things here and there, so I was familiar with the recording process I guess. But I wasn’t nervous because there was nothing to lose.”

It took three years, but her recording sessions have finally seen the light of day. The disc, Break Up, delves into the complex feelings and heartache that comes with a failed relationship. While it’s no Bonnie and Clyde, and Johansson’s vocals sound a bit flat, it’s still an infectious pop record. If anything, this album will do wonders for Yorn, who’s written some of the strongest songs of his career.

There’s no doubt these tunes are as good as anything on store shelves, so why did it take so long to release?

“When we made it we just did it ourselves, for fun,” Yorn explains. “We never really had a plan for it. And Scarlett was working on her projects and I was doing my stuff and we let the time go.”

Eventually they decided to play some of the songs for friends, and they were encouraged by the warm reception.

But despite the wait, Johansson’s says she can still feels the tunes.

“I’m very sentimental about it,” she admits. “It captured a place and time where we were both experimenting. I was really proud of it then, but when I heard it fully mastered I was really excited about it. And now it has its own little life.”

Most Popular From ...