The actress plays Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, for the sixth time in a film that explores her past in the KGB before becoming an Avenger.
Since her first appearance in ‘Iron Man 2’, Scarlett Johansson (New York, 1984) has played Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, six times. Without the ‘Avengers’ team around her, director Cate Shortland goes for the psychological journey and a feminist message.
– How do we understand the evolution of Natasha?
–When we see her in ‘Iron Man 2’, she is a caricature of her person, reacting to all the male characters. Then, she is a complicated leader in ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’. And in ‘Avengers: Endgame’ he is a fully formed person. Its evolution has been progressive and I am proud of that.
– What do you want to achieve with ‘Black Widow’?
–It is an action film driven by the desire to make the audience feel animated. Rather than being a black and white character, there is ambiguity in Natasha. You have to evolve to a place in your life where there are things to be resolved, the trauma of your past.
– Is this a very feminist film?
-Yes. The character has changed over the years and it probably has to do with me. Now I am 36 years old, I am a mother and my life is different. Obviously, it has been ten years since I started with the character and I have evolved. I think I understand myself better. As a woman, I am in a different place than when I started with the character and I think I can better accept my insecurities. I didn’t want to sexualize her, because she has to be in control. We knew that in this movie he had to evolve into a place where he moves forward in his life and resolves the trauma of his past.
– Basically it is a film of origin?
“In a sense it is.” It was a very strange way of working. I guess that’s always the case with a prequel, I’ve never done anything like this before. It was interesting to work in a present that influences what you will do in the future and that reflects the past.
Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh in ‘Black Widow’.
–After six screen appearances as Natasha, you must know the character from the inside out.
– Yes, and I love his integrity. She is a great character because she is not afraid to admit when she is wrong. She is a very endearing woman. She’s curious about herself and other people, and I think that makes her stand out among superheroes.
–What aspects of Natasha’s character and personality were you able to explore in this film?
“I think Cate wanted to show Natasha at the beginning of this movie really alone for the first time.” She’s always been a part of something bigger, you know, because of the circumstances. She has been part of a group, but suddenly she finds herself floating in this strange offside space and realizes she has a chance in front of her. Her past surprises her and she accepts it.
– What was it like working with Florence Pugh?
“I felt very lucky because Florence is an athletic person.” She has a background in dance and nailed all the choreography. Everything in this movie is driven by emotion. There is no other goal than to solve your problems. They are just two people expressing their frustration, their struggle against power, with genuine surprise and also with real affection. They are two lion cubs.
– Did you feel liberated with ‘Black Widow’?
– Yes. I think Natasha’s strength is part of her vulnerability. It has been an interesting evolution and it has been fascinating to discover it with each director I have worked with, because each one had a different vision. With Cate it’s been liberating because she’s not afraid to show anything, even the awkward parts. Natasha in this movie is more Black Widow than ever.
A past in the KGB before becoming an Avenger
Scarlet Johansson has been playing the Black Widow for ten years, who jumped to the big screen in ‘Iron Man 2’. Disney, owner of Marvel, continues to squeeze all the comic book characters whose rights it owns with the excuse that, you know, fans were crying out for a movie of their own. Natasha Romanoff, also known as Black Widow, faces her past. And for this he contacts his family: Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), Melina Vostokoff (Rachel Weisz) and Alexei Shostakov (David Harbor). Together, they will have to face a conspiracy that will force the protagonist to face her past as a spy in the KGB, long before SHIELD and becoming an Avenger.
Let’s position ourselves. In addition to her 2010 debut, Natasha Romanoff has appeared in six Marvel films, including ‘Marvel’s Avengers’, ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’, ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’, ‘Captain America: Civil War’ , ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and ‘Avengers: Endgame’. ‘Black Widow’ is located immediately before ‘Avengers: Infinity War’. The protagonist has broken the Sokovia Accords, has betrayed Secretary Ross and the Avengers group has disbanded. The first film of Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe opens simultaneously in theaters and on Disney Plus with premium access for 21.99 euros.
Discovering the past of Black Widow, including her childhood, is one of the attractions of the film directed by Cate Shortland, which has delayed its premiere for more than a year due to the pandemic. Like any self-respecting spy thriller, the film was shot on several continents: Pinewood Studios outside London, Norway, Budapest, Morocco and Atlanta. The many action scenes include car and motorcycle chases, parachute drops and acrobatic fights. After all, Black Widow doesn’t have superpowers, so she has to make up for it with her fists just like the charismatic Florence Pugh, who learned to fight with knives, kickboxing and taekwondo.