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Captain America: The Winter Soldier - Scarlett Johansson interview

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Interview by Rob Carnevale

SCARLETT Johansson discusses the making of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and how she feels about her character, Black Widow, both in terms of the mystery surrounding her and how much she relates to her on a personal level.

She also reflects on picking up injuries on-set and why she considers David Bowie to be a hero. She was speaking at a UK press conference.

Q. One of the key components of the Black Widow character is her enigmatic past. Are you keen to delve into that further at some point? Or do you think some things are best left mysterious?
Scarlett Johansson: Well, you’ll get more of Black Widow’s back story in Avengers: Age of Ultron. I think her back story…. I mean she has a rich, rich past. She definitely comes from a really dark past and I think she’s kind of had to be… she’s kind of had to be de-sensitised or de-humanised in a way to be able to do and see some of the things that she’s seen and participated in. But I think she’s just sort of now grappling with the fact that she maybe now just experiencing some kind of trauma from that, or at least that she has feelings about them that mean she might not sleep so well at night.

It’s just sort of hitting her now that she’s kind of been acting as a gun for hire and, in doing that, she’s never really made any active choices. So, the rug has kind of been pulled from under her feet. So, what I think would be more interesting is to follow the progression of that story, to bring her back home and see where that kind of leads to. Of course, that’s all in my imaginary next instalment. None of that’s really been… we’ve thrown the ball around a little bit but nothing’s in the works right now.

Q. Did you pick up any injuries filming this one? There’s a lot of action…
Scarlett Johansson: Frank Grillo beat the shit out of me [laughs]! I’m always injuring myself. I have old injuries from those Iron Man 2 days that I just keep re-injuring. But that’s part of the joy… not joy; it’s part of the process I guess. I mean, like Chris [Evans] said, as you sustain more injuries over time it hurts for longer. But I like to be able to do as much of the stunt work as possible. I think you take a little bit more of a risk doing that. But I’d rather do that than hand all my scenes to the stunt team. I’d rather do some of it.

Q. Have you ever thought about asking for more protection for Black Widow given that Captain America has his shield and you only have two small guns?
Scarlett Johansson: Well, I think part of the widow’s fighting style, and what makes her charming, is that she uses her size against her opponent. She’s just quick and quick-thinking.

Q. How do you identify with Black Widow?
Scarlett Johansson: Well, I have a widow’s bite and I have a belt that’s multi-purpose… I also have my wit of course… my sensational wit. My kung-fu… my kung-fu wit [laughs]. I think that you have to be sympathetic to any character you play, even if it’s a villainous character. You always have to have some kind of likeability. I think this character has a certain unexpected humility to her. She has a soft underbelly. I don’t know…

Q. Who is your hero in real-life?
Scarlett Johansson: David Bowie! That’s my hero – for obvious reasons.

Read our review of Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Read our interview with Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan