Scarlett Johansson Comic-Con Interview IRON MAN 2

     July 28, 2009


Everything I’ve seen from “Iron Man 2” makes me think director Jon Favreau has made a movie critics and audiences are going to love. The reason? While “Iron Man 2” is going to have incredible action scenes, he is putting story and character first and getting great actors to play all the critical roles. And joining the cast of “Iron Man 2” is the beautiful Scarlett Johansson. In the film, Scarlett plays Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow and it’s still a guess whose side she’s on.

Anyway, at Comic-Con I participated in a small roundtable interview with Scarlett and it’s after the jump. During the interview she talks about wearing the form fitting costume, filming her action scenes, was she nervous about signing a multi-picture deal, the history of her character, and a lot more. If you’re looking forward to “Iron Man 2”, you’ll love the interview.

As always, you can either read the transcript below or listen to the audio by clicking here.

Iron Man 2 movie image Scarlett Johansson.jpgQuestion: So how I’ll start off by saying how intimidating was it when you first saw the costume?

Scarlett Johansson: I did have a bit of a freak-out moment. It was more seeing the….because the costume was kind of built…you know it took awhile to build it, obviously, but I saw some sketches and I knew what to expect because I’d obviously seen the kind of later sort of incarnations of the character and knew that it was going to be some kind of cat-suit. So I had a freak-out moment but then it only lasted about a half a day and then it’s like suck it up. You’ve got to just do it and so I never turned back after that. I just went like full force and did it.

I was going to say can you talk a little bit about filming action scenes with that suit and just the fact that so many millions of people are going to be watching everything you do?

Scarlett: Well I have to say that the idea of so many millions of people watching what I’m going to do, I’m used to that kind of a feeling, but as far as the action sequences go and how the costume relates to that, I mean one thing obviously important for my character is that the costume moves. You know the character is an expert of hand-to-hand combat. She’s a mixed martial artist. She comes from a dance background. There’s some like gymnastics thrown in. It’s kind of everything all thrown into one big sort of fighting machine, so a big part of me is like “can I move in this? Can I run in it? Can I like throw myself over things with this?” And I think just the prep, you just have to put in the hours. That’s what I realized is that just putting in the hours and doing the training and repetition and basically just befriending the stunt team and spending all day, every day, just over and over and over and over until you sell it.

What is your relationship to the other characters in the film?

Scarlett: Well, I’ll tell you that my character is…there’s sort of 2 sides to my character. She’s a bit of a shape shifter I suppose. There’s a side of the character that’s kind of demure and sort of covert and kind of a part of…I wouldn’t say that she’s submissive but she’s kind of blending in to sort of the Stark Industries of some kind. And then the other part of the character which is a really aggressive and bad-ass character that’s sure of herself and is, you know, going to kick the shit out of you if you get in her way. So that’s about as much as I can tell you. I don’t know how that relates to any of the other characters. I mean, I know but you will.

Do you wear the cat-suit?

Scarlett: Out and about?  It’s kind of attention grabbing so I try to stay under the radar. No, I have to say that after the last time I had to wear that cat-suit I was like, be gone cat-suit. And hopefully I’ll see that cat-suit again. Be able to bring the character back, but maybe some like slight flaws will have been worked out. Like some kind of ventilation in the suit.

Iron Man 2 movie image Mickey Rourke as Whiplash.jpg

Soon your house is going to be filled with super heroes stuff.

Scarlett: Yeah. Tell me about it. My house is already full of comic books, so.

Keep it like a prom dress and try it on 5 years from now.

Scarlett: That’s depressing.

…make sure it still fits.

Scarlett: No, that’s awful. That’s awful. Is that what you did with yours? Yeah.

I modified it. I turned it into a skirt.

Scarlett: A mini?

Is there any truth to the rumors about the kind of cat-fight between you and Gwyneth Paltrow that everybody’s talking about?

Scarlett: No. Nothing could be further from the truth and I have nothing but wonderful things to say about working with her.

Have you talked to her about it?  Has she been like…?

Iron Man 2 movie image Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark (2).jpg

Scarlett: Well, she’s totally out of the…she’s very much out of the loop. She’s got a wonderful family she spends a lot of time with, so for her, she’s like what’s going on? What? And, of course, Jon, who’s like on his Twittering, he’s like crazy about, any kind of news about anything. He’s like “you haven’t heard?” He comes on set. I’m like oh God. He just gets….every time I’d say to Gwyneth…she’d say oh yeah that was on the 7th. And I’d say are you sure it wasn’t on the 6th? And he’d go “another cat-fight. It’s breaking out”.

The last thing they were saying is she was in New York purposely snubbing Comic-Con because you were going to get all the attention.

Scarlett: Oh believe me, she is worthy of plenty of attention and I know the fans love her and they’re going to love to see her in this movie because her character really is able to come into her own and I know she would love to be here as well, but she’s with her family.

Your character has an extensive history. She dates back as far as Captain America and a big part of her character is communism and things that communist government did to her. Given the setting of the films, is there any way to tie her back to the original story for how she came into the comic book world?

Scarlett: Well, like I said the character remains quite mysterious in this film. All we kind of…this movie is not about dealing the Black Widow identity. Hopefully if the character continues on whether that be through Avengers or something like that, we’ll be able to explore more of her past. Obviously the film is in present day so to bring in that whole like communist aspect of the character might be a little bit dated-well it would be a very dated to say to least. But there are a lot of ways that I think we can kind of bring in different elements of her history.

Iron Man 2 movie image Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark (3).jpg

How daunting is it for you as an actor to sign on, because we’ve heard Marvel that you’ve had to sign a multi-picture deal when you join the Marvel universe, is that a little bit nerve-wracking for you signing on for say 5 or 6 or whatever the picture deal is?

Scarlett: I think that–and I’ve learned this from Robert–that we have a vested interest in our characters as well. I mean I didn’t go into this going oh this is the last I ever want to see this character. I would love to see the character come back and as I was saying kind of reveal more about herself. I loved making the film. I loved working with Jon. I loved working with Robert and so as an actor often times we kind of have a beginning, middle and end and it’s a one and a half-2 hour segment or whatever and like that’s it. We’re done with it. So for me to be able to bring something like this back and kind of develop the character is exciting. And something that we don’t normally have the opportunity to do as actors and of course everything is collaborative. It’s not like “you better get back into that cat-suit”. It’s not like Louis B. Mayer or something like trying to you’ve got to be there or be square kind of a thing. It’s all a process of approval and all that kind of a thing. So it’s very familiar. It doesn’t feel like….it doesn’t’ feel daunting.

I’m curious how your character balances out Whiplashes character because a lot of people are like oh, 2 villains. That’s too many, but what is yours bringing against his?

Iron Man 2 movie image Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark (1).jpg

Scarlett: We don’t know necessarily whether the character is villainous. I mean there definitely is…she does have a dark past and I think that she is very seductive and distracting and we are, I think, not sure how that…we’re not sure exactly where she’s coming from and what her intentions are necessarily. I’m not saying that won’t be revealed but, there are a lot of characters in this movie-a lot of new characters-and it is a balancing act. But I have to say that I think between the huge sort of explosive action, the romance, the kind of battle of good vs. evil even within ones self, there’s a nice balance between all this. I think the fans will be really excited to kind of be taken on all these different journeys. They all really play into one another and it doesn’t feel like a lot of different films coming together. It really feels like an ensemble. So and who can have too many villains? I mean, you know…the more villains the better.

Do you have any scenes with Sam Jackson?

Scarlett: Um, I have worked with Sam Jackson, yes.

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