*Disney‘s highly anticipated “Black Widow” hits theaters and Disney+ on July 9. The film stars Scarlett Johansson reprising her role as Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow. In addition, audiences will get a deeper look into the character who joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2010s “Iron Man 2.”
The film’s timeline is after 2016s “Captain America: Civil War” and 2018s “Avengers: Infinity War.” Natasha is on the run after helping Captain America escape and turning her back on Tony Stark.
With nowhere left to go, Natasha returns to her birth country with the help of her friend “Mason” (O.T. Fagbenle)
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Returning home isn’t that easy after leaving to join forces with the Avengers. First, Natasha comes face to face with her sister Yelena (Florence Pugh) who is also an assassin – what’s evident in the film is Yelena will be involved in the Marvel Universe going forward.
EUR’s Jill Munroe spoke with Pugh about joining the MCU and Johansson about the advice Samuel L. Jackson gave her while filming an early MCU flick – that she then shared with Pugh.
Getting the call that you’re being considered to join the Marvel franchise is a dream come true for many actors, described Pugh about her experience in being cast as Yelena.
“When I first met Cate (Shortland, the film’s director), I couldn’t believe I was being considered for this role, in this kind of film. When you watch these movies, you imagine one day you might play a superhero. So, for it to happen at this point in my career and for it to be such an interesting character and a fantastic director, and to play Yelena – Scarlett Johansson’s younger sister, there were so many yeses! So many boxes that were ticked.”
“It was surreal – it didn’t really end. I went away for a few days, and I was told the offer was mine, and I had to say yes or no by Monday. I said, ‘is this a joke? Obviously, this is a yes!'”
What advice did Scarlett have for Florence to prepare for the physicality of the role?
“These movies require a lot of stamina; the shoot is long,” explained Scarlett. “We usually spend five months on something that’s physically taxing at times because of all the little pieces that go into any large set-piece. Early on, Florence wasn’t happy with her landing or couldn’t complete a move that was complicated. She’s a very athletic person and was fantastic with the choreography. I had to tell her, girl, you’re not a professional athlete. They’re going to sharpen all of your moves. The most important thing is to keep your energy because the performance part is what you bring to it.”
“And that’s actually advice that Sam Jackson (Johansson’s frequent co-star in several Marvel films) gave me years ago. He said, ‘let the professionals do that. Don’t break yourself trying to master Muay Thai in four days. It’s just not going to happen. The most important thing you bring to the table is the emotion behind the character’s physical motivation. And that’s something that I tried to gift Florence.'”
“Black Widow” was written by Jac Schaeffer and Ned Benson. Johansson also serves as producer. The film also stars David Harbour and Rachel Weisz.
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