Scarlett Johansson criticises 'sexualized' portrayal of her character in Iron Man 2
Hollywood star Scarlett Johansson, ahead of the release of Black Widow, spoke out about the way her Marvel character has been treated like a "piece of a**" in past films.
According to Fox News, while on set for her first standalone film in the franchise, the actor revealed her contempt for the hypersexualization of her character, also known as Natasha Romanoff, specifically in the Iron Man sequel.
Speaking about it, during a 2019 press visit to the set of the upcoming movie, Scarlett Johansson said, "I mean, you look back at Iron Man 2 and while it was really fun and had a lot of great moments in it, the character is so sexualized, you know?"
Scarlett further continued speaking about her character and added, "Really talked about like she's a piece of something, like a possession or a thing or whatever -- like a piece of a**, really. And Tony [Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr.] even refers to her as something like that at one point. What does he say? 'I want some.' "
While it doesn't seem like the actor is too keen about the depiction of Natasha in previous films, she acknowledged the obvious erotic elements of her character. "At one point [Tony] calls her a piece of meat, and maybe, at that time, that actually felt like a compliment," she said.
Scarlett acknowledged that her character uses her sexuality as both "a means to feel" and a tactic to manipulate the people around her. After playing the role since 2010, Johansson noted that the character is empowered in her vulnerability, calling her last act of sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame "incredibly powerful".
Following the events of Captain America: Civil War, Natasha's origin story is unlike her previous appearances in the Marvel universe.
Speaking about the change in Natasha's portrayal, Scarlett said, "Now people, young girls, are getting a much more positive message, but it's been incredible to be a part of that shift and be able to come out the other side and be a part of that old story, but also progress. Evolve. I think it's pretty cool."
The storyline of Black Widow, the release of which was delayed due to the pandemic, is based around sisterhood and the "complicated feelings" that come along with her and her ally Yelena Belova's (Florence Pugh) complicated relationship.
In the upcoming film, pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger. What's even more interesting is that viewers will witness the new Marvel villain, Taskmaster.
The movie is helmed by Cate Shortland and produced by Kevin Feige. It will be making its way to Indian theatres on July 9 this year.