Scarlett Johansson's mother tried to deter her from a career in acting.

The Oscar-nominated beauty is one of Hollywood's most bankable female stars but Scarlett admits her mum Melanie wasn't sure she would be able to handle the pressure of the cutthroat industry.

She recalled: 'My mum never really wanted me to get into acting because she was afraid it would be very competitive and stressful - which it is!'

Scarlett - who was named after 'Gone with the Wind' character Scarlett O'Hara - always loved performing arts as a youngster but her first attempt at breaking into the spotlight in commercials didn't go well.

Melanie had taken Scarlett and her siblings Vanessa, Adrian and twin brother Hunter for an audition, but the 29-year-old beauty was rejected.

Scarlett said: 'The only person they wanted was my older brother, Adrian. I was totally devastated. I still can't sell anything. I'm terrible at it!'

Despite the numerous setbacks, the 'Under the Skin' and 'Her' star continued to pursue her dream against her mother's advice.

She added to Total Film magazine: 'When I was really little, I was a singing, dancing kid. I took all kinds of classes. I was one of those jazz-hands kids.'