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Extra Virgin - January 2010

Money Two years, millions of dollars in sales, and a deafening critical applause later, the sequel to Iron Man arrives as one of the most anticipated films of 2010. Here, Scarlett Johansson talks about playing the film's heroine Black Widow.

What was it like when you put on the Black Widow suit for the first time?

Scarlett Johansson: I did the camera test in the suit to see what it looked like and that was kind of terrifying because I wasn’t quite in the shape that I wanted to be. And then maybe a month later it was finally ready. I remember putting it on and I thought it looked really great. It’s such a powerful thing to wear – it’s skin-tight, it’s got the bracelets, a gun on one belt and these little discus things. It’s no joke; I mean you just can’t not take the character seriously because she looks like she means war.

Did you ever read any comic books when you were younger?

Never. It wasn’t until I knew that I was playing the Black Widow that I read much on her. I mean, I haven’t really been much of a comic book reader. So the whole Marvel universe is a crazy one. And it’s very complicated. My character, Black Widow, is really the first female superhero and over the last 50 years or whatever it is, her story has gone in so many different directions.


Why do you think that these comic book stories are so popular?

I think because this franchise in particular is so successful because it has characters that people can relate to. Tony Stark is flawed and he is the anti-hero in a way. And I think people like that. It’s fun to see these real characters put in these extraordinary situations and it’s incredibly entertaining. And in a way, this movie is not about some fantasy world; these are real characters that relate to each other that have a history and background that is substantial.

Did you have many scenes with the other new guys, like Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell?

My stuff is mostly with Robert (Downey Jr.) and Gwyneth (Paltrow). I had some work with Sam and I work a little bit with Samuel L Jackson. We all work together. This movie is really a collaborative effort and I worked with most everybody in the cast.

There’s talk of inter-locking Marvel films. Would you be happy to play her again?

Oh my God, I’d be thrilled to don the cat-suit again if the audience is into it and they love the character. I would love to be able to have the opportunity to explore more of her origin story. I’m a huge fan of the first Iron Man and I hope that it continues on for her and that she is a part of The Avengers. She does have a really interesting origin so who knows?

Iron Man II is out now. See the official trailer here.