Black Widow cast dish on creating their iconic characters

By Tribute on July 6, 2021 | Leave a Comment

Disney’s highly anticipated Marvel film Black Widow has already got critics raving and fans are waiting to get back to theaters to watch Scarlett Johansson take over as Black Widow in her own film. The film also stars Florence Pugh, David Harbour and Rachel Weisz.

This film not only gives Scarlett a chance to shine, but Florence Pugh and David Harbour win hearts with their cheeky humor and on-screen charisma. They bring a fun dynamic to the four on-screen characters. Florence, fresh off her most recent Academy Award-nomination, makes her grand entrance into the Marvel universe playing Yelena and crushes every scene she’s in. She cements herself as the new favorite Marvel character for many.

Black Widow is definitely a stellar Marvel film and will easily win fans over this summer. The plot, the performances and the dialogue are what make this film one to watch out for. While it shouldn’t have taken so long for Black Widow to get her own film, it’s finally here with the smart twists and new character additions.

In a recent global press conference, the cast of Black Widow – Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff), Florence Pugh (Yelena), David Harbour (the Red Guardian) and Rachel Weisz (Melina) – sat down virtually to talk about their characters and how much they enjoyed bringing this film to life.

Scarlett Johansson on showcasing different aspects of Natasha’s personality
“I think Kate had mentioned that Natasha at the beginning of this film is really alone for the first time.  She’s always been a part of something, either by being of circumstance, she’s been a part of starting out with, you know, really not participating at all, and being a victim of the Red Room.

“I mean 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 its really suffocating.

“And then she’s blindsided by this person who comes from her past who is just on fire and is a liability and is, like, got this crazy energy and is dangerous, and is full of life and she’s so thrown off her game in this.  Um, it’s great to see her like that.  We never get to see her like that.”

Florence on approaching a character like Yelena
“I think from the get-go, in the script it was very obvious that they have this connection and they have this relationship.  And ultimately despite, you know, her skill set she is that wonderfully, um, annoying young assistant that says all the right things in all the wrong times.  And so that wasn’t hard at all for me to get into that.  I think something that I really appreciated was, um, Kate was so welcoming of me to figure out how-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, because she really comes out of the Red Room. And she can buy her own clothes, and she can buy a vest that has lots of pockets and she’s really excited by it.

“And I think Kate really encouraged me to find, you know the oddities of her and kinda lean on that.  So much so that, you know, in the end scene, you can see that she’s flourishing; she’s becoming her own being.  And I think also being welcomed into it with Scarlett equality being as, uh, as giving as-as she was, I really found it such a wonderful and creative space.  And just to have fun.  I think that was the overall thing.  You know, these two sisters have so much fun together, and amongst all of the pain they’ve shared.”

The first scene that Scarett and Florence filmed and how they bonded
The witty banter between the two on-screen sisters is a sure highlight of the film. Florence said, “The first sequence that we shot was at the Budapest fight scene in a safe house.  So that was my first week of shooting.  And that was Scarlett’s second week of shooting. And so literally on my first day I was, like, throwing Scarlett up against a wall, and she was smashing my face in the sink.  And I just remember, like, there was no greater way than to just break the ice than really wrestling Scarlett Johansson to the floor.  [LAUGH] Like, trying to choke each other.  It was great that it was done.  We got to know each other and we were friends.”

Scarlett adds, “It definitely was a ice breaker.  I’m very lucky because Florence is an athletic person. She has a background in dance. And she nailed all the choreography.  She was right there, and like totally game to go at it.  With the characters there’s so-it’s such an emotional fight.  It’s all driven by emotion.  There’s no real end goal there; it’s just two people expressing their frustration and also the power struggle and their genuine surprise and also affection for one another all…  You know, it’s like to lion cubs just like going at it.  It was such a unique way to bond with another actor.  But it also felt like a very safe way to do it somehow. There was like no trepidation; we were just like in the muck in that it was unique, but it was good.”

Rachel Weisz on embodying Melina
“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 want to leave him out. I like stories about people, but it was wonderful to tell a story about three complicated, strong women.  And yeah, just on the page I just thought she was a really unusual character. I loved her relationship with her pigs.  And, you know, shooting that family scene where the family gets back together in Russia after 20 years, um, was just completely a delightful thing.  And we were upstaged by the pigs most days.

“It was really unlike anything I’ve ever done.  It was incredibly intimate and incredible emotional.  I had to just like, steel myself most days to stop laughing at David Harbour, because he’s more eccentric, original funny people on this planet.  So yeah, it was really lovely.  Also, what I liked about Melina was that she has absolutely no sense of humor, like none.”

David Harbour on the humor in his character, the Red Guardian
“I mean the funny thing about him is that it’s sort of built out of the same or it 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.  Right?  But like, I’ve used that one before. You know, the comedy itself comes out of the ego that is built to defend against the feelings of that remorse.

“So in other words, he has to be some bombastic because he can’t stop and feel these things, you know, the failures that he made.  So he has to build around him a world of, like, a confabulatory, psychotic reality where he the re-the hero.  And that’s inherently silly.  I mean that’s inherently funny.  Uh, and also the family dynamics themselves are just so fun.”

Black Widow is in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access on July 9. ~Marisska Fernandes

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