“Scarlett is thirteen going on thirty,” said Robert Redford of the young actress after working with her on “The Horse Whisperer” (1998).

Seem like strong words coming from an actor as talented as Redford? Think again. Since her acting debut opposite Ethan Hawke at the age of 7, Scarlett’s on-screen poise and maturity have stunned everyone from Sofia Coppola to Terry Zwigoff. As Scarlett once said herself, “I think I was born with a great awareness of my surroundings and an awareness of other people.” Not to mention a distinctive, smoky voice that has prompted many directors to ask if she has a sore throat.

But an actress doesn’t become a star because of maturity alone; experience is important, too. And Scarlett’s definitely got that. Over the past 12 years, Scarlett has acted in seventeen different films (with many more to come) and won dozens of awards, including the prestigious British Academy of Film & Television Association Award for an actress in a leading role. It seems like only yesterday we saw the talented young Scarlett in “Manny and Lo” and “The Man Who Wasn’t There.” Hold on, it was yesterday. As if by magic, Scarlett gone and done what critics said would be nearly impossible: transformed from child actress into Hollywood’s current “It girl.” Much to our delight, it’s hard to go anywhere these days without seeing pictures of the ravishing Scarlett on the cover of every magazine. Not bad for someone who graduated from high school just last year. Even critics who panned Scarlett’s performances in “Home Alone 3″ and “Eight-Legged-Freaks” have started to realize this is one Scarlett to give a damn about. Phenomenal performances in recent films “Girl With A Pearl Earring” and “Lost In Translation” have secured Scarlett’s position as one of today’s reigning screen queens.

With each film she makes Scarlett proves her audiences she isn’t lost, in the translation or otherwise. She’s always known exactly where she’s going and is on her way straight to the top.