Scarlett Johansson: Black Widow's alter ego no longer 'sexualized'

Scarlett Johansson is grateful Black Widow’s alter ego Natasha Romanoff is no longer ‘hyper-sexualized’ as she was in Iron Man 2 with lingerie and low-cut dresses

Scarlett Johansson is grateful her Marvel alter ego Natasha Romanoff is no longer ‘hyper-sexualized’.

The 36-year-old actress has played the role of Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for over a decade after making her debut as the character in 2010 film Iron Man 2, in which she had to model lingerie.

And Scarlett – who reprises the role for a seventh time in upcoming film Black Widow – is pleased that the way the character is treated and portrayed on screen has evolved since that first cinematic appearance, which featured Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark talking about Romanoff as a ‘piece of a**.’

The start of it all: Scarlett Johansson’s Marvel alter ego Natasha Romanoff was very sexy in lace lingerie in Iron Man 2 from 2010; she said this week that she is happy the character is no longer ‘hyper-sexualized’

Va-voom: The character also had on a plunging black dress with short sleeves

Discussing how her own maturing as a woman has affected the portrayal of the character, she said: ‘Obviously, 10 years have passed and things have happened and I have a much different, more evolved understanding of myself. 

‘As a woman, I’m in a different place in my life, you know?’ she added. 

In Iron Man 2 she wears a tight white blouse when ‘Natasha Rushman’ meets Tony Stark and when he researches her online he finds a sexy image of her in lacy lingerie in bed. 

An office bombshell: The alter ego also wore very tight skirts that highlighted her figure

Animal instincts: And in this scene she has on an alluring leopard print dress

The mother of one continued: ‘And I felt more forgiving of myself, as a woman, and not — sometimes probably not enough. I’m more accepting of myself, I think. 

‘All of that is related to that move away from the kind of hyper-sexualization of this character and, 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?’ said Scarlett.

She 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 even refers to her as something like that at one point … [he says] “I want some.”

‘Yeah and at one point calls her a piece of meat and maybe at that time that actually felt like a compliment. You know what I mean?’ added the wife of SNL’s Colin Jost.

The inspiration: A look at the Black Widow cartoon character from Marvel

In her Black Widow suit: The siren dressed as Black Widow in Iron Man 2 in 2010

Scarlett thinks that 11 years ago she would have accepted a comment like that as a compliment as a young woman, but now she would not as she understands her ‘self-worth’.

The BAFTA-winning star is pleased that the world is evolving and now men and women know that derogatory sexual comments are no longer acceptable.

Continuing her discussion about Tony’s line in the Iron Man 2 script with, she said: ‘Because my thinking was different. Maybe I even would have, you know, my own self-worth was probably measured against that type of comment or, like a lot of young women, you come into your own and you understand your own self-worth. It’s changing now. 

She moved on: Black Widow had shorter hair for the movie The Avengers – 2012

‘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.’

Black Widow – which is released in cinemas on July 9 – is set prior to Scarlett’s character being killed off in Avengers: Endgame but the Jojo Rabbit actress insists that her alter ego’s fate did not alter her mindset during the project.

Scarlett said: ‘This movie became more of a reality, I guess, when we were shooting Avengers: Infinity War, so I did know about the character’s fate.’

The new look: The Black Widow poster for the new movie which comes out July 9

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