“I’ve been talk­ing about that cos­tume for days. Ev­ery­one is crazy with ques­tions. I’m so sick of guys ask­ing about it”

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Cover Story -

SCAR­LETT JO­HANS­SON curls into a ball on the couch and puts her head in her hands. She emits a lit­tle rasp in mock an­guish. Huz­zah. It’s a bit like hear­ing Paul Daniels say “Not a lot” or meet­ing Keith Richards out on the tiles of an evening.

“It was a good pre­miere last night,” she groans. “But it was a lit­tle too good. All that scream­ing. I felt like Tif­fany or some­thing.” Fa­tigue, how­ever, has not pre­vented the Mar­vel Avengers As­sem­ble star from at­tempt­ing to steal my Lego.

“I have a Lego? Is that my Lego?” she cries, as she cra­dles my Black Widow ac­tion fig­ure: now avail­able as an awe­some Lego piece. “Oh my God.” I’m not crazy about her eye­brows, I say. “No! No! I don’t know what you’re talk­ing about. She is to­tally rad. I love Black Widow as a Lego. Look at her curvy waist. It’s drawn on and ev­ery­thing. This is the great­est thing that’s ever hap­pened to me. I’ve al­ways, al­ways loved Lego.

“Oh wow! My hair comes off – oh God – did you know this? I have two faces. Look here I am with my fight­ing face, and here I am look­ing . . .”

She low­ers her voice into a sec­ond trade­mark rasp: “Look. It’s my nicer face. I so don’t want to give her back to you. But you kind of look like her with the red hair and ev­ery­thing. So I got to.”

It is only fair. To­day, dressed in white, with her blonde hair scraped back, Jo­hans­son is not look­ing at all like Black Widow, her as­s­kick­ing al­ter ego from Mar­vel Avengers As­sem­ble.

“I’m not any­thing like her, not in looks, not in any­thing,” says Jo­hans­son. “We both have lot of con­vic­tion: other than that I can’t think that we’re at all sim­i­lar. It’s funny be­cause since mak­ing the film I have a very in­flated idea of my badassed­ness. I keep think­ing I could ac­tu­ally take my co-stars down in real life. But ac­tu­ally I’m not at all badass.” She looks pretty hard on­screen at least. “Yeah, but that was the fun part for me,” she says. “In re­al­ity I was so bro­ken all the time; ice bags all over my body; cov­ered in in­juries. I was never an ath­lete grow­ing up. I was never sporty. So I had no idea that I was ca­pa­ble of any of this stuff. It was fun dis­cov­er­ing how far I could push my­self.”

The Avengers – or Mar­vel’s Avengers As­sem­ble as they’ve bizarrely dubbed the film in this ter­ri­tory – is a huge deal. The cross-pol­li­nated

mega-movie has been hinted at in Mar­vel epi- logues for years. Fans will hap­pily tell you that Buffy cre­ator Joss Whe­don has pro­duced an ex­pe­ri­ence that was well worth the wait.

At any rate, af­ter many post-credit wait­outs, Jo­hans­son has squeezed into a slinky body suit so that her Black Widow can take up arms along­side Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man, Chris Evans’s Cap­tain Amer­ica, Mark Ruf­falo’s Hulk, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, and Jeremy Ren­ner’s Hawk­eye.

The very men­tion of the out­fit – even in pass­ing – crum­ples Jo­hans­son anew: “I’ve been talk­ing about that cos­tume for days. Ev­ery­one is crazy with ques­tions about that cos­tume. I’m so sick of guys ask­ing about it. The thing is right be­fore we started I was lift­ing all these weights and eat­ing raw ve­gan. But the only rea­son I was do­ing that was to fix my pre­vi­ous diet be­cause that was a Pa­leo diet. So I’ve had the ex­treme of ev­ery­thing. Be­cause when you’re train­ing you rely on your trainer to help you lose mus­cle and gain mus­cle and what­ever it takes to change your body. So I’m al­ways fol­low­ing some crazy regime. And af­ter lots of fight­ing and train­ing and raw ve­gan food you can fit into a cat suit.”

It’s un­fair, she says, that her male col­leagues, who are all poured into Ly­cra and tights too, don’t get quizzed about be­ing buff to the same de­gree.

“Ev­ery­body’s cos­tume is re­veal­ing. Look at some of the guys. You can see their whole body in some of those clothes. I met with Mar­vel early on and they un­der­stand the pit­falls of the su­per­hero movie bet­ter than any­body. They never wanted Black Widow to be eye candy. Those char­ac­ters are so lame and silly. And I don’t have any­thing to con­trib­ute to a movie like that.

“We all wanted to get away from that overly sex­u­alised thing. But at the same time these char­ac­ters have to look badass and sexy. And I know that when you wear a cat suit it is what it is.”

At 27, Scar­lett Jo­hans­son has had enough of be­ing a sex sym­bol. She is a Hol­ly­wood star­let so it’s not so un­usual that miles of col­umn inches are de­voted to her failed mar­riage to Ryan Reynolds (2008-11), her re­bound re­la­tion­ship

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