Scarlett Johansson said her first impression of Florence Pugh was that she "seemed very self-assured and curious and willing"

By Benjamin VanHoose
October 29, 2020 09:48 AM
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Credit: Quentin Jones

Florence Pugh felt right at home with Scarlett Johansson.

In a new cover story for Marie Claire's winter issue, out Nov. 17, the Oscar-nominated actress, 24, recalls meeting her Black Widow costar Johansson for the first time — and the team-building exercises they did together.

"I think maybe the tiredness did add to my not being so self-aware and just, I suppose, allowing myself to start taking the piss out of Scarlett from day one, which was great," Pugh said about the two's "trust exercises," which included guiding each other while blindfolded. "And then from that point onward, we kind of did it to each other."

"It was instant sisterly bonding," Pugh added.

For her part, Johansson, 35, remembered the Midsommar actress showing up for the first day of rehearsals for their Marvel superhero film, saying Pugh was "seemed very self-assured and curious and willing," adding that she was "very present there."

The long-awaited standalone film — which has been delayed from its original May 2020 release date due to the pandemic — follows Johansson's Avengers character, Natasha Romanoff (aka Black Widow) as fans learn more of her past. The movie then introduces Pugh's Yelena.

Credit: Quentin Jones
Credit: Quentin Jones
Credit: Quentin Jones

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Johansson also opened up to Marie Claire about making the standalone movie in a male-dominated field, calling it a "challenge."

"I don’t want to candy-coat anything because it’s a challenge in a male-dominated industry to tell a woman’s story from the perspective of a female director and focus on the heart of something that is inherently female," she said of Black Widow, which is directed by Cate Shortland.

In choosing parts to play, Johansson said she seeks out roles she can relate to. "I look for women who I feel I can relate to on some level, that I have empathy for," she said. "That’s a bit complicated, obviously, because you can have empathy for people in different ways, and for different reasons. But if I can empathize with a character, no matter what their moral compass is, then that’s important to me."

Credit: Quentin Jones

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Pugh previously talked about the movie when she sat down for Variety's Actors on Actors series last year and teased how surprisingly emotional the action film is.

“I think we’ve made something very raw and very painful and very beautiful and I think people are going to be really surprised by the outcome of a big action film having that much heart,” she said at the time.

“And I know lots of people will be emotional about her because her character had such a hard ending [in Endgame], but it was special learning from her, and she’s been doing this for like 10 years in those films,” Pugh added of Johansson. “For this to be her film was special. And I got to be there and see how she does stunts and lives it, and it’s so her.”