Scarlett Johansson who plays Russian superspy Black Widow in the upcoming Iron Man 2 talks to us about . . .

The first Iron Man movie
“When Iron Man came out my mom saw the film and loved it. I thought ‘Wow, my mom doesn’t know anything about comics and if the film spans a wide age demographic then it must be really good.’ I went to see the film and was blown away by the story and how charming it was. The action was great, but it also was romantic, funny, clever and witty. It was just a great film. So when I heard that there was a possible part in the second installment, I was all over it and determined to be in the film.”

Seeing the Black Widow costume for the first time
“I knew it was going to be some kind of sexy unitard, because I had researched the character in the comics. I’ve never worn anything like it before, so I had a freak-out moment that lasted about half a day, but then I said ‘Okay, time to suck it up’ and just went full force into getting in shape to wear the costume and perform the physical action so it looked just right.”

Her training program
“Black Widow is an expert in hand-to-hand combat, she's a mixed martial artist, has a dance and gymnastics background, so she combines all of these aspects into one kick-ass fighting machine so I dedicated myself to putting in the hours, repetitions, and training with the stunt team until I felt comfortable that I could sell each particular move.”

Doing as many of the physical stunts as possible
“I’m very sensitive about when you see an action sequence and the shot is on the back of somebody’s head, and then all of the sudden it cuts and the actor gives that one dramatic pose at the end and it’s obvious that it was not them in the shot before. It’s the lamest thing, because you want to see the actor risking their own life, and that is part of what sells it to an audience. So that’s why I worked for months to prepare and I really didn’t want to be perceived as a little wuss who couldn’t do it.”

Her first action scene
“When I first saw it completed and choreographed by the stunt team, I just thought to myself, ‘Oh my god, I don’t know how I’m going to do this, but then I took a deep breath and, with all the training and repetitions we put in during rehearsals, it just started to flow and it became a reality as I was doing it. It was a lot of fun for me to work with all the people [stunt supervisor] Tommy Harper assembled because they are some of the greatest stunt guys out there and were so incredibly supportive. It was very frustrating at times, which I am sure you will see on the DVD, but I think we really nailed it and when Tommy Harper says you got it, then I know we got it and it will be great fun to watch.”

More about her character:
“There is this whole other world that Marvel is chomping at the bit to explore in the upcoming Avengers, so we wanted to set that up and make sure that we really dialed in those characters. With the character of Natalie, a.k.a. Black Widow, we needed someone who could get entry into Tony’s life and be a mole on the inside. We couldn’t have Nick Fury just show up again in the living room and say, 'Hey, I’m here in the story again.' We needed to have something a little more planned out and someone who could feed Tony information or give him things that could help him in his quest to fix himself. Black Widow is a character that any red-blooded male is going to love and Scarlett was the perfect person to fill those shoes.”
– Iron Man 2 screenwriter Justin Theroux



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