In the upcoming Marvel adventure The Avengers, a band of superheroes ban together against a common enemy. For Scarlett Johansson, who reprises her role as Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. Black Widow from Iron Man 2, fighting to hold her own amidst a top group of egotistical male superheroes, meant staying in top fighting shape in order to go head with the boys, including: Robert Downey Jr. Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo.
In The Avengers, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) does what seems to be the impossible: bring together a group of the most powerful superhuman soldiers to fight against the evil Loki (who also happens to be Thor’s brother) from conquering earth (isn’t that how it usually goes?). Joining S.H.I.E.L.D, each member has a role to play, but as loners used to fighting on their own terms, getting past their egos was hard at first. But what about being the only girl?
“If anything, the guys weren’t as delicate with me as I thought they would be,” Johansson said. “They like to play hard and always dragged me along for the ride. I’d always come back with battle wounds. But they’re a great group of guys. All of us got on so well.”
Not only does she, once again, don the red hair and super tight latex suit, but Johansson also had to acquire the fighting skills in order to make The Black Widow believable. “I think the most difficult thing to master this time around was the Wushu training situation and fighting with that big alien gun,” Johansson said of the stunt training while on set. “There was way more weaponry in this than I’ve ever had to learn before. That thing was just impossibly heavy which made things complicated. Of course, at first you think you’re never going to get it, but when you’re learning it, you finally get it, you get it.”
With so many comic book movies being released, many have been successes and many have been failures, but according to Johansson, The Avengers stands out for two reasons, one being for its writer/director Joss Whedon. “Joss’ dialogue is so witty and dry and clever. He was so invested in each character and personality and you can see the little “Whedonisms,” as I call it, in the words with a lot of pop cultural references,” she said. And secondly, she credits the film’s players. “What makes this film stand out is that the cast is insane. I mean when do you get to see a group of actors like this come together in this fantasy world? But there’s also a lot of heart around the characters. There’s hurt, betrayal and suspicion and real feelings which is why people relate to them, just as they did in the Iron Man films and Captain America. Audiences will relate to them because each of them are human, but have these superhuman abilities.”
Johansson also says that fans will get to know her character more this time around than they did from Iron Man 2. “I think the first time we saw this character we didn’t know much about her,” Johansson said. “She’s a slippery fish in Iron Man 2. We get little glimpses of her but she still has many different faces she puts out but we get to see more of who she is and a bit of history of her shady past.”
And just when being a top A-list actress in Hollywood isn’t enough, Johansson admits that she does covet some of Black Widow’s traits. “In real life, I would like to kick some major booty,” Johansson says.
The Avengers opens Friday and also stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgard, Cobie Smulders and Samuel L. Jackson.