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Scarlett Johansson on Iron Man 2

Published August 20, 2009 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Paramount Pictures
Iron Man 2 Iron Man 2

If Scarlett Johansson didn’t get much credit for action heroics in The Island, The Perfect Score or Eight Legged Freaks, her superheroine turn in Iron Man 2 certainly won’t be ignored. She will play Black Widow, and her alter ego Natasha Romanoff, from the Marvel comics.

Robert Downey Jr. is Iron Man 2

“I think that the character is sort of a shape shifter,” Johansson said. “It was sort of like playing two different characters. One character is more kind of mysterious, I don’t want to say submissive, but she’s blending in with the crowd I suppose. The other part of this character is someone who is assertive and knows their sh*t. She’s able to just say, ‘I’m going to fight this head on.’ For me, being able to have that kind of feeling, being able to be competent enough to sell it, that this is somebody who is going to kick some ass and don’t for a second doubt that she’s going to follow through with the punch. It was a challenge for me but Jon [Favreau] was incredible. He really supported me with this. “

Johnasson brushed up on her comic books when she got the part. Originally, she just wanted to join the team. “It was all new to me. I mean, originally I had met with Jon and Kevin [Feige] to just kind of talk to them about some of the super heroines of the Marvel universe. Black Widow was one of them, but I didn't really know anything about the character until I delved into it. Then I started looking at the suit and went, 'Oh my God, I have to get into that?' So it was a whole new world for me.”

Fans can look forward to ogling Johansson in a Lycra cat suit. They’ll also get a glimpse of a slightly tougher Johansson than they’ve seen before. “It's all about the suit and certainly for me, as an audience member I hate to watch those action sequences where you don't see any of the actor's face and it's all on the back of their head and you're going, 'That's a terrible stunt double.' I mean, you get to know an actor's body and their mannerisms. So for me it was really important to be able to do the stunt work and to be able to fight and feel the fight within me, I suppose. So it was a lot of training, stunt training and weight training, all that kind of stuff. Strength training to try to, like, kind of fit that mold. I wanted to be able to look at something and go, 'Okay. I'm going to knock the sh*t out of that person.' To believe that is a challenge in itself, especially when you're five foot three and fighting someone who's seemingly a giant, I suppose, to be able to have conviction in that. That was just as much of a challenge as the actual physical part of it.”

With team-ups and spin-offs in the works, Marvel has gotten in the habit of signing their actors to multi-picture deals. Samuel L. Jackson is down for about nine as Nick Fury. This is a new endeavor for Johansson.

“I think as an actor, I think certainly in this particular situation, and I know that Robert [Downey Jr]. has had this, you kind of become invested in these films as much as the studio is and you're able to develop your character with the studio and have a lot of input in that sense. So to me that's exciting because rarely as an actor do we get to take it to that level. We see a beginning, a middle and an end hopefully and then one two or so segment and then you're done with it. But, for me to be able to build something and to think about this, especially a character that's had so many different kinds of histories and paths, to think about where she might go and where we kind of find out more about her, I feel like that's something that you invest yourself in and work for.”

Iron Man 2 opens to theaters on May 7th, 2010.

For stills and more movie info, go to the Iron Man 2 Movie Page.

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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Paramount Pictures

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