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The actress tells Parade she almost lost her now iconic role as crime fighter Black Widow to another well-known actress

April 27, 2020 03:27 PM
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Scarlett Johansson
Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty

Hollywood hasn’t always been sweet to Scarlett Johansson.

The Oscar-nominated actress began her career at a young age, picking up small roles as a preteen in films like Home Alone 3 and The Horse Whisperer alongside Robert Redford — but in a new interview with Parade, Johansson, 35, says: “Since a very young age, I’ve been rejected constantly.”

One of the opportunities Johansson almost didn’t get is her now iconic role as Avenger Black Widow in the Marvel films.

Emily Blunt was originally set to play the assassin-turned-crime fighter in 2010’s Iron Man 2 but had to leave the project due to scheduling conflicts with a different film.

After a “wonderful” meeting with Iron Man 2 director Jon Favreau, Johnasson recalls, “I was really excited to work with him, so I said, ‘If this doesn’t work out, I’m an actor for hire, so call me anytime.’”

Needless to say, she snagged the part.

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Jay Maidment/Marvel/Walt Disney/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

“The best call you can receive is after you are rejected for something and then you get it,” Johansson says. “You appreciate it more. I’ve basically made a career out of being second choice.”

Johansson gets her first solo film as Natasha Romanoff in Black Widow, which pushed its May 1 release date to the fall due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The film follows Natasha as she revisits her mysterious, painful past and features Marvel newcomers David Harbour, Florence Pugh and Rachel Weisz as fellow spies.

“It’s a film very much about self-forgiveness and accepting decisions that were made for you,” Johansson tells Parade. It’s much deeper than anything we could have done earlier.”