Movies June 22, 2021
‘Black Widow’ Stars Scarlett Johansson & Florence Pugh Talk ‘Female Empowerment,’ Stunts, and More
Scarlett Johansson’s “Avengers” superhero is about to confront her past in the Marvel prequel “Black Widow.”
“Extra’s” Nate Burleson caught up with Johansson and her co-star Florence Pugh to talk about the film and its message of female empowerment.
Scarlett told Nate, “It would've been a missed opportunity if this film didn't reflect what's going on in the zeitgeist, and that is female empowerment and women lifting other women up and finding a place of self-forgiveness through that process… All these women have experienced huge amounts of trauma and are coming out the other side because of one another. It’s a really powerful message.”
Nate asked her, “You had mentioned that Black Widow was hypersexualized. How has it been to see this character evolve now?” She said, “It’s been a really rewarding process… I don't think we could've made this movie a decade ago. We're talking about issues like the subjugation of women in this film, and that was not a subject that would've been broached by most studios a decade ago.”
In November, Scarlett will be honored at the American Cinematheque Award for her contributions to cinema.
Florence and Scarlett are unleashing some major on-screen sibling chemistry. Florence said, “It’s so lovely when other people notice what you notice on set… Scarlett and I really did have a good connection, that's not something we had to work on… We just kind of started filming and knew what we both needed to do… You spend a lot of downtime strapped in the middle of the air waiting for someone to say, ‘Action…’ You’re really in a good place if you like spending time with that person, because then it just becomes a constant hang-out.”
They are showing off their action-movie skills in true Marvel fashion, too. Nate wondered, “Did you guys have to train together or share training secrets?” Scarlett said, “Usually, when you're learning stunt choreography, you don't normally get plugged in with the other actor until the day of… I think it's the safest way to learn stuff… I got very lucky — Florence is a very athletic person. She has a dance background. I would take fighting Florence any day over some other people, who are a little less graceful… [I’ll] put it that way.”
Johansson said she is happy to see life getting back to normal post-pandemic. “I'm in New York right now and things are opening up back up here which is very exciting. It's a bit of a re-emergence for all of us, so there's some growing pains a little bit, but it's definitely nice to see people's faces… It's really been wonderful to re-connect with loved ones. It’s so meaningful.”
Florence, who is back in London, said, “It was really lovely to touch back home and hug my family… It was energizing.”
“Black Widow” opens in theaters and debuts on Disney + July 9.