Scarlett Johannson as the Black Widow / Natasha Romanoff
During our trip to Los Angeles, we sat down with actress Scarlett Johansson for her role as the Black Widow in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Have you read my interviews with Chris Evans, Kevin Feige, and the Russo brothers? Be sure to follow along with hashtag #CaptainAmericaEvent so you don’t miss any details! My review comes out tomorrow and I’ll tell you now, make plans to go see Captain America: The Winter Soldier in the theaters starting tomorrow!
After watching her kick butt in the movie, I was so excited to hear what she had to say about her role as the Black Widow. Here are some of my favorite questions and answers from our session.
When are we going see the Black Widow movie?
I think because Marvel, and particularly Kevin Feige is such a fan of the source material himself and understands that the fans are kind of what drive this train. If people want that, want to see that form, I’m sure that we can get something together.
..it would be wonderful to have the challenge of doing a female superhero movie where the protagonist didn’t rest on her feminine wiles and use every opportunity to strike a sexy pose in order to get the job done.
She uses her brain, wit and feminine wiles to get the job done. She’s a very playful character and also a character that has a really compelling story. Because she doesn’t- she has a kind of a gray moral code. She’s not black and white. I think it could be really a fun, fun opportunity to have. So, we’ll see. If you- if you request it, they will come.
In this film she’s like cupid? Why the transition?
Well first of all when the character is talking to Loki, you know she’s kind of putting up this front, you know, obviously. She’s not, as we come to realize, is not being completely honest with him. It’s partly for her widow face that she wears. And in this film we really get to see a lot more of Natasha. I like to think that Natasha has a romantic side.
She’s been really damaged. Um, I think that she very early on in the past probably learned to not care too much about people because they could be easily taken away from her and used against her. She probably didn’t want to hurt the people that she loved the most. And so she never needs them or never invested too much in them knowing that they- it would probably put them in danger. I think that she hopes that for someone like Cap- you know particularly Steve.
Because I think she sees someone who is…I think could have sort of have his life enriched by sharing it with somebody. That she sees someone that kind of yearns for that, but, you know, is also scarred by the series of events that have changed his life. And maybe she kind of sees in Steve a little bit of herself and wants something more for him.
Do you enjoy having your character mature?
Yeah, it’s been interesting because a lot of, you know…Of course when I went in to do Avengers after having done Iron Man 2 which you kind of don’t know a lot about the character, right, you sort of see her in widow mode. And I met with Joss [Whedon] and we started talking, he did a bunch of research. Okay, let’s really- ‘cause now at this point it was like, all right, we’re invested in this character. You know, I didn’t know if the character would work, or the audience would like her. Like my version of her.
Once it became clear they did and I got the opportunity to explore more of her back story in Avengers it really started to carve out what my kind of version of Natasha, what my reality could be. Because obviously it’s one of the oldest female superheroes. Probably the oldest one, and she’s got this vast library of source material and has had many incarnations and many different people have their hand in her stories.
She’s made all kinds of connections and love interests and failures, and she’s been good and bad in everything. So we wanted to make sure that the story felt contemporary, obviously. I wouldn’t have a cold war kind of back story, did it make sense, and we had to kind of tailor it to my AGENT, like what my experience would be. It’s been great to be able to reveal little pieces of that. I think it’s kind of like these little Easter eggs for the fans.
A little wink at the audience when you kind of learn a little bit about her KGB past, or whatever kind of task she’s been set on. You kind of discover her as, as I discover her as well. And it’s fun to do that.
Tell us about the stunts you did.
Well first of all, my stunt girlfriend…is this wonderful, wonderful stunt woman by the name of Heidi Moneymaker – that’s her real name. And she’s awesome. That’s awesome. She’s awesome. This is our third [movie]- she’s played the widow every time, along with me. So we have really worked together from the beginning to develop this fighting style that you see. We want to keep the consistency of it, it’s such a fun, it’s such a playful fighting style.
You know, it’s badass but it’s kind of sexy. It’s a little bit flirtatious, I guess, the style. And it’s balletic giving a kind of a little, a nod to her past gymnastics. That’s a bit of a nod to Heidi’s past, kind of quality to it. And of course the Muay Thai and whatever else she would have learned with her kind of global experience. And in Iron Man, the fight sequences were really pretty fantastic.
A lot of like kind of gimmicky things that were just really fun to watch. In Avengers, the weaponry, there was a lot more kind of gun play and stuff like that. And wielding all kinds of crazy alien guns, and that was a mess. Wushu or whatever. It was just- can’t tell you how painful that is. But this time around, a lot of the fighting was pretty gritty. A lot of it is kind of handheld weapons, like full on kind of fighting…
It actually made it a lot easier for me because, first of all the crazy acrobatic stuff that you see I start and finish, and then Heidi does ridiculous things with her body that I could never do. Even if it was my job. She’s amazing. And deserves all- you know, a lot, most of the credit. A very brave and very inspiring person. I just basically wound myself trying to emulate whatever she does.
Hopefully they can use as much of my face as possible. And I like to- I like to do it, too. I like to, I wanna be as involved as I can. And the stunt guys let me do it because they’re nuts. So. There’s a big insurance policy on the film. (She says as she laughs) 😉
Tell us about the Black Widow costume.
The Widow costume is, I have to say, it’s probably the most comfortable of the superhero suits because it doesn’t require a built-in air conditioning unit, like Hemsworth does. I don’t have a lot of, I don’t have under armor or any of that kind of, I don’t have a huge leather cape, headdress, whatever, all that stuff. It’s pretty straight forward. It’s kinda like a wet suit actually. Sort of this one piece. And, I’m always amazed when it goes on and zips up. I’m like, wow. It’s on.
It’s totally empowering because once you get the belt and the gloves and the bracelets and your guns and the boots and it looks great. It’s badass and I think it makes all of- when I have my legs wrapped around some giant stunt guy’s head or whatever, and feeling totally ridiculous hanging on for dear life, it sells it.
Totally sells things that would otherwise look absolutely absurd. It adds [to the] superhero thing. It changes the way you stand. It changes your posture. You’re more aware of your body, obviously. I think when you walk on the set everybody’s like, yeah, it’s the Widow. Looks good. And I’ve grown to love it. First I, I was terrified of it. And now I embrace it because it embraces me, actually.
I work hard to- to get into it and I’m proud to wear it. It’s fun. And then kids love it which is great because, really, it looks very superhero-esque and my friends’ kids that are- are girls, they love the way that it looks. And that it’s kind of utilitarian but it’s got the feminine thing going to it. It’s fun for them to have that to, to put on as opposed to like the tiny little skirt.
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CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER Opens (Tomorrow) April 4, 2014.