At last year’s Academy Awards, breakout actor of the moment Florence Pugh (who was nominated for her role in Little Women) and Scarlett Johansson (who was nominated for both Marriage Story and Jojo Rabbit) embraced on the red carpet.
At the time, many were clueless as to how two of the industry’s brightest stars even knew each other, let alone seemed to be close friends. But they weren’t only working on a project, they’d bonded over both becoming sick with pneumonia and seeing out a full film schedule.
In a new interview, Johansson opened up about her upcoming film Black Widow, the long-awaited Marvel epic which was delayed for over a year due to COVID-19, and also stars Pugh.
In a conversation for The Gentlewoman Johansson spoke with director, Cate Shortland, who revealed both actors became ill with pneumonia on set, but continued shooting and working throughout.
The film had a tough schedule that spanned multiple locations over four months. “It was like being in the army,” Shortland said.
“She’s completely unpretentious,” Shortland said of Johansson, “and that makes her really fun to be around. She’ll be joking with the best boy or the runner; there’s no hierarchy. She appreciates people, and she makes people feel appreciated.”
Johansson also spoke about her initial reluctance to join the world of Marvel superheroes when it was first pitched to her by director Joss Whedon. “Even the thought of all of us together in our superhero costumes sounded like it was going to be a disaster,” she explains. “Not a disaster, but, like, What is this? What is this?”
But it didn’t take long for her to see the potential the project had, mentioning a particular scene in The Avengers that completely sold it to her. “We’re standing in the rubble of Grand Central or whatever, of this alien onslaught, and all of us are ready, like: Here we go, this is it, and then they showed us the playback, and I think that was the moment that all of us, finally, after six months of shooting, were, “Oh, this is going to work. I think this is going to work.’”
Fans have been waiting for Black Widow ever since Avenger’s Endgame, the Marvel box office smash-hit from 2019. The film, which follows the Marvel comics character of the same name has been delayed three times from the original May 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. It will air in theatres and on Disney+ on July 9th.