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Scarlett Johansson Interview - 'Iron Man 2'

Scarlett Johansson Provides the Scoop on Playing Black Widow

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Scarlett Johansson Iron Man 2

Scarlett Johansson in 'Iron Man 2.'

© Paramount Pictures
Scarlett Johansson takes on the role of Natasha Romanoff (aka Black Widow) in Iron Man 2, the sequel to the 2008 blockbuster. Along with Iron Man veterans Robert Downey Jr and director Jon Favreau, Johansson made the trek to San Diego for the 2009 Comic Con, an event that back in 2007 served as the launchpad for the first Iron Man movie. Sitting down for an interview after showing off clips and answering questions from Comic Con attendees, Johansson confessed she'd never experienced anything like this level of excitement from fans over any of her previous films. "It was incredible," said Johansson. "It's exciting to be a part of something that kind of has this built-in fan base that's got this electricity around it."

Scarlett Johansson Iron Man 2 Interview

Is it true that you dyed your hair for your first meeting with Jon [Favreau]?

Scarlett Johansson: "Not for my first meeting with Jon. I had actually met with Jon and Kevin [Feige] about a year before pre-production started and we just talked about some of the super heroines in the Marvel Universe. One of them is Black Widow. I think they were kind of toying with the idea of putting the character into the film, and how they would work it in, and all that kind of thing. Then when I had met Jon the second time, I did have red hair. Part of that was me wanting to experiment with my hair color, and the other part of that was me kind of hoping that Jon would like the fact that I had experimented."

How did you like doing the super hero thing?

Scarlett Johansson: "I have to say that I really was able to work with such an incredible and supportive group of people. That helped of course with any nerves I may have had. It was a lot of work. It’s a lot of work because you want to buy into it. You want to buy that the character is able to kick some major ass."

How much did you do to prepare physically?

Scarlett Johansson: "It was many, many, hours, days, and months of stunt training, and strength training. But it’s fun because I had a goal. The goal was the Lycra cat suit."

Was there anything that surprised you about the experience?

Scarlett Johansson: "An element of surprise? I mean everything was surprising to me when I was making this movie. I was such a fan of the first one so I kind of went in as a bit of a… I was kind of geeked out by the movie to begin with. I think 80% of the crew came back for the second time. I was really surprised to find that this movie that was kind of seemingly larger than life was such a small, sort of familial feeling on set. Even though we were making this huge movie, we had Kevin Feige there everyday. I don’t know, it just felt like the whole studio was behind the movie in a really kind of supportive and nurturing way."

Is this a character that might be spun off and have her own film? Is that something that has been talked about at all?

Scarlett Johansson: "I hope so. I mean I think it all depends on how the fans react to the character, which I hope people like the character of course. I love the character. You will have to ask Kevin Feige that, but I hope she does turn up. If not in her own film, then in future series - and perhaps the next film."

There is a lot of super hero stuff going on in your family right now. Is your place just filled with comic books?

Scarlett Johansson: "I have quite a few stacks of comic books. We’re in completely different universes over there, but it's kind of something that I’m certainly delving into for the first time. There is quite a stack."

Were you familiar with the character or did you have to do a lot of research to study for that part?

Scarlett Johansson: "I was familiar with the character as far as I had researched different super heroines. But I didn’t know that much about the characters background. Only that she was kind of the oldest of the super heroines and has this incredible fan base. She’s had many incarnations. I think that the research that I did was mostly a lot of the stunt work that I put into it. The character herself I think remains quite mysterious, which is important. She’s covert."

Was the super hero genre something you wanted to get into? Was this a type of film you wanted to do for a long time?

Scarlett Johansson: "I never really had thought about it before. Honestly, I have to say that before I saw the first Iron Man movie I had never really thought much about playing a super hero of any kind."

There is no geek within you?

Scarlett Johansson: "Certainly there is a major geek within me. Actually, just kind of right on the surface. When I saw the first one it was because my Mom called me and said. ‘Did you see Iron Man?' I was like, Iron Man? I would see it, but it’s not really my kind of thing.' I thought if my Mom is telling me to see Iron Man, it's got to be great. It’s not like my Mom is a comic book fan. When I went to see it, I was just so blown away. I had never seen anything like that before in this genre."

When you had that first meeting were you bringing a couple of possible super heroines that you could play? Did they have something in mind for you?

Scarlett Johansson: "There were different characters like Moon, and… what’s her name? The Scarlet Witch? The Blonde Phantom. Is that another one that we talked about perhaps? Am I getting them all wrong? There was a couple that I looked through and thought, 'Okay, these are kind of characters that maybe could work somewhere.'"

Page 2: The Cat Suit and Connecting to the Character

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