Last month, Noovie was lucky enough to be invited to an online press junket for a quick Q&A for Disney's new superhero film "Black Widow." This film gives us the untold origin story of the original female Avenger Natasha Romanoff (aka Black Widow) played by Scarlett Johansson. It also gives us some new actors joining the MCU like Florence Pugh as Black Widow, David Harbour as Red Guardian, Rachel Weisz as Black Widow. Also, that's not a typo, there are multiple Black Widows.
From this quick Q&A with the cast of "Black Widow," Noovie was able to learn more about the relationships between these characters and further learn about the complexity of the female characters in this film. You can find some interesting bits below that we learned from this new MCU family.
'Black Widow' Q&A - Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, David Harbour, & Rachel Weisz
Q: What aspects of Natasha's personality were able to showcase in this film that weren't shown in previous appearances in the MCU?
Scarlett Johansson: Natasha at the beginning of this film is really alone for the first time. She's always been a part of something that was part of a greater whole. And then suddenly she finds herself sort of floating in this weird in between space and she's off her game. And she realizes that she's got all this possibility in front of her and it's really suffocating.
Q: How do you approach that character and make sure we understand the connection to Natasha, but also that she's unique and special in her own right?
Florence Pugh: Well, I think from the get-go, in the script it was very obvious that they have this connection, and they have this relationship. I think something that I really appreciated was Kate was so welcoming of me to figure out how she thinks and how she moves and what she wears. And I think for me that was such a fun part of figuring out this character. And I think Kate really encouraged me to find, you know the oddities of her and kinda lean on that. And I think also being welcomed into it with Scarlett equality being as giving as she was, I really found it such a wonderful and creative space. You know, these two sisters have so much fun together, and amongst all of the pain they've shared.
Q: What was the first sequence that you filmed, and how did you sort of get to know each other through that shot?
Florence Pugh: The first sequence that we shot was at the Budapest fight scene in a safe house. And so literally on my first day I was throwing Scarlett up against a wall. And she was smashing my face in the sink. I just remember thinking that there was no greater way to just break the ice than really wrestling Scarlett Johansson to the floor. Like, trying to choke each other. It was great that it was done. We got to know each other, and we were friends.
Q: How meaningful is it to you to be in a film that's got this complexity of female characters like Melina?
Rachel Weisz: I love stories about women, directed by women. I love playing opposite women. But I really loved playing opposite the Red Guardian, Alexei, as well so I don't wanna leave him out. I like stories about people, but it was wonderful to tell a story with three strong women. And yeah, just on the page I just thought she was a really unusual character. I loved her relationship with her pigs.
Q: How do you find that fine line of someone who is constantly humorous?
David Harbour: I mean the funny thing about him is that it sort of hatches from the same egg, the humor of his character because he is filled with grief and remorse about the choices that he's made like, emotionally, spiritually, nutritionally. You know, the comedy itself comes out of the ego that is built to defend against the feelings of that remorse. He has to build around him a confabulatory, psychotic reality where he's the hero. And that's inherently silly. I mean that's inherently funny. And also, the family dynamics themselves are just so fun.
Q: What's it like welcoming new people into the Marvel world?
Scarlett Johansson: It's very exciting. I love our Marvel family and I know how special it is and how special the experience is making these films. And so, I'm just excited for other actors to come in, because I hope that they will feel similarly.
Q: What do you hope is the defining memory or character trait of Natasha Romanoff that sticks with Marvel fans?
Scarlett Johansson: I think Natasha has a lot of integrity. She's a big character. And she's not afraid to admit when she's wrong. She's endearing that way. And I think she's curious about herself and curious about other people. I think it makes her stand out.
Q: After "Avengers: Endgame," did knowing that Natasha's eventual demise play on your psyche and affect the way you approached the character in the solo film?
Scarlett Johansson: Yes, it did. We started talking about this film as a more serious possibility when we were doing "Infinity War." We shot "Infinity War" and then "Endgame, you know, kind of back-to-back. So, we already knew what the "endgame" was for Natasha. And we wanted to make sure that it was a choice that she made actively and that felt like she has resolve then. And so, knowing that, we then had to kind of work backwards so that she could get to a place where that was possible. It was a very weird way of working. I've never done anything like that before. It was interesting to be working on something presently that also played into what you would be doing in the future that was reflective of the past. It was crazy.
*Be sure to check out Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, David Harbour, & Rachel Weisz in "Black Widow," playing everywhere tomorrow in theaters, and on Disney+ Premier Access.
July 9, 2021
Jesse is a writer and content manager for Noovie. When he's not working, he's on the beach playing volleyball.