Plus: Find out why husband Ryan Reynolds missed her debut opposite Liev Schreiber

By Carlos Greer
January 26, 2010 11:00 AM
Credit: Jim Spellman/WireImage

Scarlett Johansson made her Broadway debut Sunday night, but one person was noticeably absent: her husband, Ryan Reynolds.

It turns out that Reynolds, 33, “missed his flight and needed to take a later flight,” says a source. He had been at the Sundance Film Festival, promoting his drama Buried.

No worries, though. One of Johansson’s costars in A View from the Bridge says Reynolds often popped in to see his wife during rehearsals.

“He came up several times. They’re so lovely together and he’s so supportive,” says Jessica Hecht. “He would come up in between the breaks, like between the matinee and evening, just to have dinner with her. They’re just a really sweet couple.”

Even without her hubby in the audience, Johansson still had a blast. “It’s very exciting. It’s kind of unbelievable actually. I never thought I would be debuting on Broadway in an Arthur Miller play,” an excited Johansson told PEOPLE at the after party.
RELATED: Guess What (Surprising) Things Scarlett and Liev Have in Common

Johansson, 25, stars as Catherine, a sheltered 17-year-old girl whose uncle, played by Liev Schreiber, is obsessed with her. She admits that her first time on the stage wasn’t an easy task in the beginning, but opening night was a piece of cake.

“Before we did the first preview a few weeks ago, I felt the feeling of doom – like I was going to forget something or everything! But tonight, because we’ve been in previews, I was more excited than nervous,” she says.

Hecht had nothing but praise for her costar. “[Scarlett’s performance is] utterly dreamy. She’s just a dreamboat.” Schreiber said Johansson’s choice of plays was “bold.”

“Everyone really gave great performances and particularly Scarlett. It’s her first time on Broadway and she didn’t pick an easy play and it was such a bold performance,” he says.

The Tony Award-winning actor admitted that he was also nervous during the first act, but his number one fan, fiancée Naomi Watts, calmed him down.

“I was a little nervous and Naomi sent me a text during the intermission and it cleared my head,” he says. “I don’t know how to describe it, but I knew somebody was there who knew me and she was just saying, ‘Get on with it! It’s great,’ and it meant the world to me.”