Scarlett Johansson says she is happy that her Marvel Cinematic Universe avatar Natasha Romanoff, as well as her superhero alter ego Black Widow, has moved away from the "hyper-sexualisation" which defined it when she first essayed the role in the 2010 blockbuster Iron Man 2.
"Obviously, 10 years have passed and things have happened and I have a much different, more evolved understanding of myself. As a woman, I'm in a different place in my life, you know? And I felt more forgiving of myself, as a woman, and not -- sometimes probably not enough. I'm more accepting of myself, I think," Johansson told collider.com, according to a report in femalefirst.co.uk.
"All of that is related to that move away from the kind of hypersexualization of this character and, I mean, you look 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? 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 (Tony Stark) even refers to her as something like that at one point … ‘I want some’ (says Tony) … and at one point calls her a piece of meat and maybe at that time that actually felt like a compliment. You know what I mean? Because my thinking was different. Maybe I even would have, you know, my own self-worth was probably measured against that type of comment or, like a lot of young women, you come into your own and you understand your own self-worth. It’s changing now. 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," she recalls while speaking to Collider.
In one scene, an undercover Natasha spars in a boxing ring with Tony’s assistant/bodyguard Happy (Jon Favreau) and quickly takes him down. Afterward, she asks for Tony’s fingerprint on a document. As Tony watches her walk away, he tells Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) “I want one,” and Pepper replies, “No.”
The 36-year-old actress gets her first solo superhero film this year, with Black Widow scheduled to release in theatres on July 9. The film was originally slated for release last year, but had to be postponed owing to the pandemic.