The Widow bites back... and this time it’s war
One of the biggest stars in sci- fi ( true dat!) on her latest outing as Black Widow.
Team Steve? Team Tony? Don’t be so binary, people. Here at SFX we know the truly smart money’s on Team Natasha. “I really can’t think of any other opportunity where I would have the chance to grow with the character as I have,” says Scarlett Johannson, returning for a fifth turn as the lethal Black Widow in Captain America: Civil War. A luminous, compelling screen presence with the talent and bankability to topline blockbusters and art films alike, Johansson’s emerged as the female cornerstone of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since she first unleashed the Widow’s stingers in Iron Man 2. It’s a role she clearly relishes. “She has a greater calling and I think that’s what makes this character really heroic. She dug her heels in and did not go down the road that would be personally more desirable, to disappear and live off the map and have what everybody wants. In this film we really see her move closer to a leadership position.”
How does Natasha choose a side in this conflict?
Natasha doesn’t take things personally and isn’t really about taking sides per se. I don’t think she really sees things quite so black and white. She likes to live in that grey area. While it’s painful on one hand, she’s gone in a different direction and is being strategic about her choices. She sees that Steve’s taking things personally and she knows the danger of that. Initially she goes with the path of least resistance but she starts to see how it becomes this deep, personal friction between both sides. She realises that she has to take a different strategy but I don’t think that she ever assumes that Steve will come over to her way of thinking. What’s Natasha’s relationship with Tony Stark?
Natasha is a bit torn in her relationship with Tony. I think she really sees Tony very clearly and sees his weaknesses as being a danger for the team. That kind of hazard that we’ve seen in the past films is very real and involves a lot of casualties. Tony is very emotional and that’s scary for Natasha, especially when you’re talking about the number of lives that are at stake and these huge, life- changing decisions this team is responsible for making. I think Tony is really a lost cause for Natasha. I don’t think that they really have a relationship where she can reason with him. I don’t know if anybody can. She sees Tony as an obstacle that really needs to be dealt with accordingly. How was it shooting the big fight scene?
It was pretty surreal having that face- off with everybody. There have been a few moments in these films where you look around and realise you’re in good company. You’ve got your costume on and you’re ready to kick some booty. I remember doing the first Avengers and all of us getting together in the circle and having our hero moment and again in Avengers 2. This scene felt like that kind of epic moment where you know this is really big. This movie introduces us to the Black Panther. How has it been working with Chadwick Boseman?
I’ve gotten to do a couple of scenes with Chadwick, and they’ve been great. He’s such a soulful actor and so professional, so present. He really gives so much to the other person. As the universe grows and expands, Marvel is so consistent at cherry- picking such fine actors to bring onto the team. He’s added to this group immensely. You have a new costume this time around…
This time around we gave her a sleeker uniform look. It’s a little bit closer to the actual comics, which I think the fans will like. There’s something about it that’s kind of basic and I like that. But I don’t really wear my suit that much in this movie. I’m more in my regular civilian clothing. Do you enjoy the more grounded aspect of Natasha?
I think that it’s just a different experience. I like what comes with the civilian look. It’s a lot of hand- to- hand combat and some gunplay, which is always cool. It’s kind of like a hyper- realistic form of fighting with the suit on. It looks different. It’s a different feeling. But no matter what makes these movies work, whether I’m in the suit or in the civilian clothes, whether it’s Natasha or Black Widow, the idea is that these characters can still maintain the dynamics of their relationships with all the other characters and it’s sort of seamless. What will audiences connect to in Civil War?
I think that the conflict between both sides is what will start the conversation amongst fans and audience members. When they leave the theatre, they can hopefully still argue for either side. It will give them something to take home!