Scarlett Johansson was spotted this month in Pak Hoi Street, Kowloon – a location for the Hollywood star’s upcoming film, Ghost in the Shell – where the actors and mannequins in sci-fi costumes looked out of place among the market stalls. Best known for her work in films such as The Avengers and Captain America: Civil War, Johansson has been performing in plays since the age of eight, winning a Tony Award in 2010 in the Broadway revival of A View from the Bridge, a 1955 drama by Arthur Miller …

The American playwright married Hollywood bombshell Marilyn Monroe in 1956, prompting the Variety magazine headline “Egghead weds hourglass”. In 1983, Miller travelled to Beijing to produce his Pulitzer Prize-winning play Death of a Salesman. He lamented the state of Chinese theatre following the Cultural Revolution, during which performances were restricted to eight model operas designed by Mao Zedong’s wife, Jiang Qing …

Born in 1914 as Li Shumeng, Madame Mao took many names during her life, including Li Yunhe, in elementary school, the stage name Lan Ping, the pen name Li Jin, the revolutionary name Jiang Qing and, finally, Li Runqing. One of her operas, Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy, recounts the real-life story of a communist soldier infiltrating a bandit gang. After coming across postcards depicting the opera, one British experimental musician was inspired to use the name for his 1974 album. That musician was Brian Eno …

A prominent artist in his own right, Eno has worked with performers such as David Bowie, Talking Heads and Coldplay, and produced highly successful records including U2’s Joshua Tree, one of the world’s most popular albums, with more than 25 million copies sold. Eno trained as an artist but switched to music after developing a fascination with tape recorders, a device created in a laboratory owned by Alexander Graham Bell …

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1847, Bell held 18 patents and 12 shared patents when he died, in 1922. He’s best known for developing the telephone, which transmitted speech by using electrical currents to replicate sound-wave vibrations. However, Bell considered his greatest achievement to be the photophone, a wireless telephone that transmitted sound via light beams. In 1898, he became the second president of the National Geographic Society (NGS), which honours outstanding explorations with the Hubbard Medal, awarded in 2013 to filmmaker James Cameron …

An NGS explorer-in-residence, in 2012, Cameron broke the record for the deepest solo dive, having plumbed 10,898 metres to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest place on the planet. As director of The Terminator and producer/director of Titanic and Avatar, Cameron loves to push the boundaries of special effects. Shooting Titanic involved tilting a submersible set inside a 65- million-litre tank. Titanic held the record for highestgrossing film of all time until surpassed by Avatar, in 2009, and it was called “my No 1movie” by Scarlett Johansson.