A TikToker who is a ᴅᴇᴀᴅ ringer for Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson says she wants to live her own life – but cried at one of the star’s premieres when nobody seemed to notice. Yekaterina Shumskaya, 25, also known as Kate, has 10.2 million followers and has thrown fans of the Avengers starlet with her lookalike videos. Kate is so convincing as Scarlett that she’s been able to give up her job as a construction company sales manager, making the move from her home town of Maykop to Moscow in May. However, life isn’t always easy for the model, who says lookalike work is scarce in Russia and she wants to move her career forward.
“I’d love one day to film a series of videos of me travelling to America to meet Scarlett Johansson herself. “My followers always ask if I’ve ever spoken to her or whether Scarlett knows if I exist.” As well as taking her lookalike career one step further, Kate also wants to make a name for herself in her own right. “I want to live my own life, not Scarlett’s,” she said. The model says she first became aware of her uncanny resemblance to the stunning Hollywood actor when some classmates at school made comments.
“Some schoolfriends came up to me when I was around 12 years old and showed me a pH๏τo and I was like, ‘Is that me?’ “They said, ‘No, it’s Scarlett Johansson when she was a child,’ and I was really taken aback. So I’ve known I look like her for a while, but I didn’t really think anything of it.” When she turned 17, Kate first dabbled in modelling – but she didn’t stick with it for long.
“I was quite popular in my region of Russia, but I became so bored and upset by the constant comments and messages that I deleted my page after just two weeks,” she explained. Instead, she moved into an office job and rose to the role of sales manager at a construction company – managing to but her own car and apartment by the age of 22 – despite only earning £6,000 a year. But by 2020 she felt something was missing in her life.
“I was starting to have enough of my work and thought it didn’t bring in the income I felt I deserved,” she said. “Crudely speaking, I woke up one morning and thought, ‘My youth is pᴀssing me by and no one will even notice me soon’.” Although her parents warned her against a change of career, Kate put it all on the line, quit her job and tried to pursue modelling once again. “My parents even now don’t understand. They didn’t want me to leave my job. They thought I would never earn enough modelling for adverts,” she said.
“I had a stable $700 dollars (£521) a month and my parents didn’t want me to turn my back on that. “But I made my decision, I quit and well, it was worth it.” And even before Kate had officially quit her day job, she’d already taken TikTok by storm. She said: “At that time all everyone was talking about was TikTok. So, I decided to see what all the fuss was about. “There was this very popular hashtag at that time called ‘who do I look like?’ in Russia.”
So, Kate filmed her own video, comparing herself to her Hollywood lookalike and, before long, her video had racked up millions of likes. “There were millions of followers, mainly men, from America, Colombia, Brazil, Chile, all commenting and asking if I had spoken to Scarlett or if she knew I existed,” she said. Before long, she was being approached with lucrative advertising contracts and moved to Moscow.
Now, Kate is earning enough to support herself and her parents – although she’s тιԍнт-lipped about exactly how much money she brings home each month. There has also been a mᴀssive downside to online fame – in that any criticism given to Scarlett Johansson is also directed at her. She said: “When Scarlett Johannsson was accused of “whitewashing” an Asian character in the film Ghost in the Shell, some of the criticism ended up aimed at me, as her lookalike.
“Some people commented, saying, ‘Let’s kill her’ when I attempted to ‘cosplay’ Scarlett’s character from that movie. “People from all over the world dress up as that character, but they decided to attack me, because I’m a lookalike. It was very unpleasant.” Kate would like to take her career forward as a cosplayer, but she admits she’d need to leave Russia to make a good go of it. “Once my followers from all around the world encouraged me to go to the Moscow premiere of Black Widow as Scarlett, as she was starring in it,” she said. “I dressed up and went down to the centre of town with a pH๏τographer, but no-one came out to see me. People just looked at me as if I was a weirdo!