Scarlett Johansson reveals nerves and pressure ahead of MCU debut


Scarlett Johansson may have received worldwide acclaim for her role as Natasha Romanoff, or Black Widow, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the actress wasn’t always the confident and badass spy and heroine we’ve grown to love today. 

In an exclusive conversation with Vanity Fair, the actress revealed her fear and nervousness in portraying the iconic character when she was initially cast in 2010’s Iron Man 2 alongside Robert Downey Jr. 

That was a humongous moment for me because I was, I don’t know, 23 or 24 when I was cast in Iron Man 2. I had never stepped foot in a gym, and I had five weeks to prepare myself for these huge stunt sequences. Back then when we were doing it, over a decade ago, it was before we kind of figured out how to be most efficient in the process of shooting stunt work—what could be handed off to other stunt people and what the actor would practically need to know. So I was doing these huge choreographed sequences and I had no previous experience with any of that stuff. It was just a massive lifestyle change immediately upon getting cast.

Johansson’s Romanoff has since become one of the most recurring characters in the MCU, having appeared in numerous films, and finally headlining 2021’s Black Widow, which was a critical and commercial success. 

Her catalog extends way past the MCU, however. She made her acting debut at age nine, and has appeared in numerous successful films since then, including Lost In Translation, Marriage Story, and Jojo Rabbit. She is a Tony Award winning stage actress, and a musician as well. 

Johansson recently starred in the animated film Sing 2, and will appear in Asteroid City, an upcoming romantic comedy written and directed by Wes Anderson.