Scarlett Johansson Reveals What She Found Most 'Surprising' About the Making of 'Black Widow'

The actress stars as Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, in her last Marvel Cinematic Universe outing

Black Widow
Scarlett Johansson in Black Widow (2021). Photo: Film Frame/Marvel Studios 2020

Scarlett Johansson has given her final bow as Black Widow and is reflecting on what she found most surprising about the making of her long-awaited solo feature.

While speaking with Entertainment Weekly in promotion of the film, the 36-year-old actress chatted alongside her fellow cast members David Harbour, Rachel Weisz and Florence Pugh, as well as director Cate Shortland, about moments they each found exciting during the movie-making process.

For Johansson, learning all about her character of Natasha Romanoff's backstory and how she was raised by Russian spies in America was what thrilled and surprised the actress most.

"I had an idea of what Natasha's life was before, and then to go onto the set and see, 'Oh this is the Red Room, this is Dreykov, this is his office, this was the life before,' it was such a surreal thing to see all of that," she said. "As actors, we always build all that stuff up in our minds, and then you suddenly see it all put together by this extraordinary group of artists … It was very strange but it was cool."

"The safe house, imagining the time that Clint Barton and Natasha spent together in these small spaces and what actually happened in Budapest, just uncovering all of that stuff was very, very interesting," she added. "Surprising."

Black Widow
Jay Maidment/©Marvel Studios 2020.

Johansson's solo MCU debut in Black Widow raked in $80 million in its opening weekend in North America, setting a new pandemic box office record. After it was delayed from its original May 2020 opening date, Disney announced the decision to release Black Widow in theaters and on its streaming platform at the same time.

With an additional $78 million in international box office sales and more than $60 million in Disney+ Premier Access rentals, the movie's opening has grossed over $215 million, according to CNBC.

"It is really, really exciting," Johansson previously told PEOPLE of finally seeing the movie come out. "I've been eagerly, anxiously awaiting the release, just wanting to share this movie with everyone."

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Black Widow
Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh in Black Widow. Jay Maidment/©Marvel Studios 2020.

"It's obviously very exciting and it has all that Marvel magic to it," she added. "But it also is very unique for Marvel. It just has its own flavor. And I think people will really enjoy that. It has definitely has got the nostalgic things that people will expect from any Marvel movie, but it also has its own rhythm. I'm excited to share it with people. I'm really proud of it."

During the chat with EW, Harbour, 46, also opened up about his favorite part of the recently released film, revealing that he loved when his character Alexei had to reflect on his past through an action figure of himself that was given to him by Natasha.

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"For me, I did really like in the script the moment when he begins his journey, he gets the doll of himself that Natasha has hidden the earpiece in," the actor said. "It's such an amazing thing for a character, and it's such a profound metaphor in a weird way too — like his eldest daughter, the one he messed up the most, sends this message in this older version of himself, and she's the one who guides him back to redemption, in a sense. I just thought that was such a beautifully weird thing to send this old doll of him."

Pugh, 25, meanwhile, said her favorite memory revolved around working with Shortland, 52, and how the director kept referring to a car chase scene in the movie as "epic."

"When I finally read the script, I was like, 'bloody Nora, it is epic. It's going on and on and on,'" she recalled with a laugh. "I just kept on in my head, whenever we were doing this epic car chase, I kept on hearing Kate over coffee one random December morning being like, 'And it's epic.'"

And as for Weisz, 51? She had two particular moments that stood out to her — the costume fittings for her own Widow suit, as well as finally getting to work with Shortland after "a while" of trying to do so.

Black Widow is now playing in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access.

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