Scarlett Johansson made a supremely cool choice of partner to take to the amfAR gala in New York this week – her mother, Melanie Sloan.

The Avengers star, 32, made her first public appearance since her split from long-term partner Romain Dauriac was recently confirmed last month.

Speaking to reporters from Entertainment Tonight on the red carpet at Cipriani’s on Wall Street, the star said: “I really couldn't think of anybody else that I'd rather [have] with me here tonight. [She's] been incredibly inspiring for me in many, many ways, but certainly as a young girl.”

Scarlett JohanssonScarlett Johansson opened up about balancing work and motherhood

“She never shielded us from what was going on in the zeitgeist in culture,” she continued. “She always made us aware, you know, socially aware. She always encouraged us to be politically and socially active, so I couldn't imagine a better date tonight.”

She and her ex-partner Dauriac share a two year old daughter, Rose, and Johansson opened up about how she’s come to terms with motherhood and how she’s balancing it with her packed work schedule.

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“I don't profess to know anything about parenting, anything more than anybody else, [but] being a working mom is an incredible challenge, [and] it's an incredible gift,” she said. “I think you always feel a little bit of guilt… If you're at work, you feel like you're missing out on those special moments with your kid. If you're with your kid, you feel like you're not giving enough to your job. It's a balance. I have a lot of huge admiration for working moms. I'm barely, barely holding it together!”

One of two recipients of the amfAR Award of Courage on the night, Johansson’s friend Mark Ruffalo paid tribute to her as he presented the prize, calling her “no armchair humanitarian” as he highlighted her efforts in Kenya, India and Sri Lanka working to improve education.

“Funny, kind, socially conscious, beautiful and generous — I'm not talking about my mom. Scarlett Johansson is that person,” he continued. “We live in turbulent times, but if there are any young women or men out there looking for a role model, they need look no further than Scarlett Johansson.”

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