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Scarlett Johansson Analyzes Black Widow’s Motivations In Avengers & Civil War


Natasha Romanov has been through a lot—and it’s up to Scarlett Johansson to figure out what might go through Black Widow’s mind during every one of the high-stakes moments she goes up against in the Marvel movies, past and future. In an EW interview, which Johansson jokingly dubbed a “therapy session,” she delved deep into her own interpretations of her character’s motivations:

You know, I don’t think she’s ever aspired to become an Avenger. That’s not really a choice that she made. It’s kind of like the events in her life led her to that point and when we see her [in Civil War], she’s finally capable of making a choice for herself. Which is kind of a milestone in someone’s life when they’ve not really participated in the decisions that were made for them. She’s finally at a place where she’s going, “Okay, I actually kind of know what I want. And I think I kind of deserve it.”

What of Black Widow’s Age of Ultron story arc, which has been oft-criticized? Here’s Johansson’s take on the final scene between Banner and Widow in AoU:

Maybe you want to call it abandonment or whatever it is, exactly. Vulnerability, rejection. I think that you can turn inward and be very hurt and bitter and that would have been an easier choice. But she understands that Banner did what he had to do. Certainly she’s not going to be the person to chastise someone who’s not ready to open up. I don’t think she’s taking it personally.

It doesn’t sound like we’ll be seeing much more of that storyline in Civil War, anyway:

There is little room for romance in Civil War; I think there is a lot going on that doesn’t really involve big heart-to-hearts. I mean it’s certainly in there and there’s references to it. But this is not the opportunity for us to explore the Widow’s deep, personal backstory.

If that Civil War trailer is any indication, it looks to me like the guys could stand to sit down and have a heart-to-heart. Too bad they won’t be doing any of that, though!

(via Comic Book Resources, image via Tumblr)

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Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (, and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (