The way that MCU movies framed Black Widow back in the days of Iron Man 2 and Marvel’s The Avengers and the way we look at her now, a decade later, are very different. With Black Widow less than a month away, star Scarlett Johansson is looking back at the character’s evolution in a new interview with Collider.
“You look back at Iron Man 2 and while it was really fun and had a lot of great moments in it, the character is so sexualized, you know?” Johansson said. “Really talked about like she’s a piece of something, like a possession or a thing or whatever, like a piece of ass, really. And even Tony refers to her as something like that at one point.”
“[Tony] at one point calls her a piece of meat and maybe at that time that actually felt like a compliment. Because my thinking was different,” Johansson continued. “Now people, young girls, are getting a much more positive message, but it’s been incredible to be a part of that shift and be able to come out the other side and be a part of that old story, but also progress, evolve. I think it’s pretty cool.”
Johansson also talks about Black Widow’s objectification as it pertains to the character’s internal development.
“I think actually Natasha uses her sexuality as a means to feel, sort of manipulate a situation and then be coquettish and sly, and then she’s going to take your legs out, right? She’s going to be seductive in this way, and that’s her power; her power’s in her sexuality, and then that changed over time, right?” Johansson said. “Her strength was actually her vulnerability. In Endgame she sacrifices herself out of love. She saves her friend, she saves everyone. And I think just being in that kind of headspace and being able to make taht decision, that selfless act, is so incredibly powerful.”
The interview is long and Johansson talks about a variety of topics, so it’s worth a read in addition to these tidbits. Tickets for Black Widow are on sale ahead of its theatrical debut on on July 9, when it also hits Disney+ Premier Access. In the meantime, read up on what the director had to say about her inspirations going into the movie and what Black Widow will look like in IMAX. Don’t forget to check out the latest trailer, either.
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