Scarlett Johansson reveals that she has made a career out of being the second choice actress. Johansson was not Marvel Studios' first choice to play Natasha Romanoff in Iron Man 2. Emily Blunt originally landed the role, but had to later back out because of a scheduling conflict. Johansson took the role and has been Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2010. It would be hard to imagine someone else taking on the role at this point in time.
In a new interview, Scarlett Johansson recalled a "wonderful" meeting with Iron Man 2 director Jon Favreau, noting, "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.'" While the meeting may have been wonderful, Favreau and the studio had their eyes on Emily Blunt to take on the Natasha Romanoff role. After signing on, Blunt had to bow out, which gave the role to Johansson. She explains.
"The best call you can receive is after you are rejected for something and then you get it. You appreciate it more. I've basically made a career out of being second choice."
Even after getting the Black Widow role, Scarlett Johansson was unsure of how Marvel fans would feel about her portrayal of the superhero. "When we did Iron Man, I didn't know if the audience would like my interpretation of the character," she says.
However, that all changed when Earth's Mightiest Heroes united on the big screen for 2012's The Avengers. When the original six team members, which includes Black Widow, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye, and the Hulk, stand in a circle in NYC, preparing for battle, that's when Johansson knew it was going to be a good ride. "It's the iconic hero shot," she says. "We were all thinking, This is crazy! because these worlds were coming together. We're still processing how much of an impact these movies have had."
Even as Scarlett Johansson and the rest of her MCU crew try to wrap their head around their impact on the world, Johansson is preparing for another outing as Natasha Romanoff. The standalone Black Widow movie is something that MCU fans have asked for since 2010 and it's finally almost here. The movie was supposed to open in a few weeks, but has since been pushed back to November, for obvious reasons. Johansson had this to say about the upcoming movie.
"It's a film very much about self-forgiveness and accepting decisions that were made for you. It's much deeper than anything we could have done earlier."
Natasha Romanoff sacrificed her life during the events of Avengers: Endgame, so the Black Widow movie takes place before that. In addition to Johansson, the movie also stars Rachel Weisz, David Harbour, and Florence Pugh as fellow spies.
"They're not family, because [Natasha] has no family, but they're assigned familial roles," Johansson says, while pointing out that Pugh's character is like a sister. It sounds like there are going to be some pretty big surprises for fans when the movie finally hits theaters later this year. You can check out the rest of the interview with Scarlett Johansson over at Parade.