Russian Scarlett Johannson lookalike with 10.2 million followers cried at a movie premiere in Moscow
A Russian Scarlett Johansson lookalike with 10.2 million followers who has taken TikTok by storm has spoken of the downsides of finding fame as a “double.”
Yekaterina Shumskaya, 25, or just Kate Shumskaya as she’s known TikTok, from Moscow, gained 1.5 million views within hours of posting her first ‘Scarlett video’ to the platform in February.
Her resemblance to the glamorous star of Avengers has enabled her to quit her £6,250 job as a sales manager for a construction company and move from her hometown of Maykop to the Russian capital Moscow in May.
However, she revealed that there are downsides to the likeness, saying she has received death threats from followers after dressing up as the actress in Ghost in the Shell.
She said: “When Scarlett Johannsson was accused of ‘laundering’ an Asian character in the movie Ghost in the Shell, some of the criticism was directed at me, as her lookalike… People from all over the world dress up.” so character, but they decided to attack me, because I’m a lookalike. It was very unpleasant’
Yekaterina Shumskaya, 25, or simply Kate Shumskaya as she is known on TikTok, has quit her job and moved to cities to continue her work as a Scarlett Johansson lookalike (left, Yekaterina and right, Scarlett)
The avid sportswoman, who spent her school days training to become a professional handball player — a career shattered by injury at age 17 — first being told she looked like the Hollywood star by classmates.
She explained: “Some school friends came up to me when I was about 12 years old and showed me a picture and I thought, ‘Is that me?’
“They said, ‘No, it’s Scarlett Johansson when she was a kid,’ and I was really surprised. So I’ve known I look like her for a while, but I didn’t really like it.’
When she turned 17, she started modeling in the southern city where she grew up, but soon gave up.
The avid sportswoman, who spent her school days training to become a professional handball player, was first told she looked like the Hollywood star by classmates
She continued: “I first started on the predecessor of TikTok when I was 17.
“I was quite popular in my area of Russia, but I got so bored and upset with the constant comments and posts that I deleted my page after just two weeks.”
Instead, she found an office job – she soon rose to the rank of sales manager and bought an apartment and a car at the age of 22, despite her meager salary.
But by 2020, she felt something was missing from her life, saying, “I was starting to get tired of my job and thought it wasn’t bringing in the income I felt I deserved.”
‘As a woman, I think recognition and compliments are very important.’
Her resemblance to the glamorous star of Avengers has enabled her to quit her £6,250 job as a sales manager for a construction company and move from her hometown of Maykop to the Russian capital, Moscow.
“Honestly, I woke up one morning and thought, ‘My childhood is passing me by and no one will notice me any time soon.’
So, despite her parents’ disapproval, Kate decided to quit her job and pursue her dream of becoming a model.
She said, “My parents don’t understand yet. They didn’t want me to give up my job. They thought I would never earn enough modeling for ads.”
“I had a steady $700 dollars (£521) a month and my parents didn’t want me to turn their backs on that.
“But I made my decision, I stopped and well, it was worth it.”
Kate is now trying to use her popularity as a springboard to modeling – as herself, not as a Scarlett Johansson lookalike
And before Kate even worked on her warning, she’d become famous online for saying, “Back then, everyone was just talking about TikTok.
“So I decided to see what all the fuss was about. There was a very popular hashtag at the time called “who am I like?” in Russia.
“People were recording videos of themselves with a voiceover saying, ‘People say I look like Connor MacGregor, who are you like?’
“I made a simple video of my face with the voiceover and within hours, major Russian bloggers noticed me and had over a million views for my very first TikTok.
“There were millions of followers, mostly men, from America, Colombia, Brazil, Chile, all commenting and asking if I’d spoken to Scarlett or if she knew I existed.”
Kate enjoyed the attention at first and reveled in her newfound fame when she was approached with lucrative advertising contracts and asked to move to Moscow
Kate first enjoyed the attention and relish of her newfound fame when she was approached with lucrative advertising contracts and asked to move to Moscow.
But despite the support of an ad agency, instead of the stormy reception she’d expected, Kate said, “There’s no culture of professional lookalikes in Russia.”
“When I became so popular online, I moved to Moscow to work as a model, but I still don’t really know what’s going on.”
“An advertising agency brought me here, but honestly in Russia they don’t know what to do with me.”
“I’d love to make a series of videos one day where I travel to America to meet Scarlett Johansson in person.”
“My followers always ask if I’ve ever spoken to her or if Scarlett knows if I exist and I don’t know the answer.”
When Scarlett Johannsson was accused of “laundering” an Asian character in the movie Ghost in the Shell, Kate said she received death threats (left, Kate and right, Scarlett)
Unimpressed by its massive following, Kate, whose most popular video of her eating sushi dressed as Black Widow received 108 million views, tries to use her popularity as a springboard to modeling – as herself, not as a Scarlett Johansson lookalike.
“I want to live my own life, not Scarlett’s,” she said.
“It’s a secret how much I earn now, but let’s just say that when I was working in the construction company I couldn’t afford to send money to my parents to support them, now I can every month. They won’t accept it, but they know it’s my choice.’
There is also a huge downside to online fame.
In 2017, Scarlett was charged with “money laundering” for taking on the role of Major, a crime-fighting machine powered by a human brain, usually depicted as Asian, in the movie Ghost In The Shell.
Kate now hopes to pursue a career as a lookalike abroad as the industry ‘doesn’t really exist’ in Russia
And when Kate dressed up as the character, she was also criticized, saying, ‘Some people said, ‘Let’s kill her’ when I tried to ‘cosplay’ Scarlett’s character from that movie.
Still, Kate sees a future for herself as a cosplayer, another word for a lookalike who, despite the flaws, dresses up as a popular character, but more in the US, Europe or South America than in her home country because there are more opportunities abroad.
She said, “A career as a cosplayer in Russia doesn’t really exist, so I’d like to visit those other places, although I wouldn’t live there permanently.”
“Once my followers from all over the world encouraged me to go as Scarlett to the premiere of Black Widow in Moscow, while she starred in it.
“I got dressed and went to the center of town with a photographer, but no one came out to see me. People just looked at me like I was crazy!’
“I was so ashamed that I burst into tears and ran to a cafe to change.”