Black Widow’s Scarlett Johansson Never Set Foot in a Gym Before Joining the MCU

Avengers and Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson says she never visited a gym until she joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2010.

Marvel Cinematic Universe star Scarlett Johansson says fitness wasn’t her forte prior to debuting as Black Widow in Iron Man 2.

Speaking to Vanity FairJohansson stated that filming Iron Man 2 forced her to make significant changes to her fitness regime. “I had never stepped foot in a gym, and I had five weeks to prepare myself for these huge stunt sequences,” she explained.

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Johansson also spoke about how filming stunts has changed since Iron Man 2, which was filmed over a decade ago. “So I was doing these huge choreographed sequences and I had no previous experience with any of that stuff,” she said. “It was just a massive lifestyle change immediately upon getting cast.”

She added that she initially felt intimidated in the gym, as she didn’t know how to use any of the equipment. Fortunately, she was guided by Bobby Strom, a trainer who was also working with Ryan Reynolds at the time. “He took me under his wing and was so positive, and really made me understand what functional training was,” she recalled. “And I could never go back the other way. Fitness is such an important part of my mental wellness.”

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Iron Man 2 was released in 2010 and stars Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man. The film follows Stark as he faces pressure from all sides to share his Iron Man technology with the military. Joined by Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts and Don Cheadle’s James “Rhodey” Rhodes, Stark is forced to forge alliances as he confronts new enemies. Johansson plays Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, an undercover spy posing as Stark’s assistant. While this was Johansson’s breakout MCU role, she was later criticized the movie for its hyper-sexualization of her character.

After returning for several Avengers movies, Johansson starred in Black Widow in 2021. The prequel is set after the events of 2016’s Captain America: Civil War and sees Johnasson’s Romanoff confront her past while on the run. It also stars Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, a sister to Romanoff who trained as a fellow Black Widow. Although Black Widow was a critical success, streaming and piracy cost Disney around $600 million in revenue. It was released simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access, which led to Johansson filing a breach-of-contract lawsuit against Disney.

With the lawsuit settled in September 2021, Johanson looks set for an MCU return. Marvel confirmed it is working with her on a new project, said to be unrelated to Black Widow. Meanwhile, Pugh was re-introduced as the next Black Widow in the Hawkeye TV series after its writers begged Marvel to use the character.

Johansson’s portrayals of Black Widow are available on Disney+.

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Source: Vanity Fair

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