Black Widow star speaks out on past sexualisation of Natasha

Scarlett Johansson and O-T Fagbenle star in Marvel’s new film (Picture: AP/Rex/Marvel Studios)

Black Widow star O-T Fagbenle has addressed the past sexualisation of Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff after the actress spoke out about it.

The Handmaid’s Tale actor stars as Mason alongside Scarlett, Florence Pugh (Yelena Bolova), and David Harbour (Red Guardian) in the new Marvel movie, which is set just after Captain America: Civil War.

After Scarlett pointed out how sexualised Natasha had been when she was introduced in Iron Man 2, O-T said of the new movie: ‘The core of this movie is family and they have a sorority, a sisterhood, which I think people really relate to – I’ve got three beautiful sisters.

‘And just seeing the way sisters interact. It’s just so much more now, this movie, than like, “Oh, who looks good in a tight suit.” It’s about people, it’s about connection. And you need directors like Cate [Shortland], these directors who elevate…

‘That’s the great thing that Marvel is doing, is going, “Well look, once upon a time, that was the standard, but now we’re going to change the standard” and the best way to do that is to bring people in with a different mindset.’

Black Widow follows Natasha as the Avengers are thrown into chaos.

While many fans are expecting it to be a goodbye to Natasha, with Scarlett admitting it was ‘bittersweet’, O-T doesn’t completely see it like that.

‘I see it more of a hello to Florence Pugh’s character – Florence, our homegrown talent, is brilliant. Brilliant! I just marvel at her, to be honest, and she’s such a fun, kooky person. I see this movie as a hello to her. Obviously we loved Black Widow but I think being introduced to this new star, I think it’s really exciting.’

O-T also has nothing but praise for Scarlett, who he worked with to meticulously craft their characters’ history together.

Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff and Florence Pugh as Yelena Bolova in Black Widow

Scarlett and Florence also stun in the movie (Picture: AP)

‘I think there’s a sense that they’ve got a history which is complicated and so we spoke about that in rehearsal. That’s the thing about our director Cate – she’s really good at nuance.

‘So you watch the scene and there’s nothing particularly in the scene where you go, “Oh that’s what it is” but you get a sense that there’s a vibration between them.’

He added of his conversations with Scarlett about their characters: ‘We talked about how they met, how long they’d been working together and whether they’d…known each other. We talked about everything.’

While the actor also kept very tight-lipped on his future in the MCU, we’re expecting big things, as he simply told us he’s hoping for ‘more Mason’

You and us both, O-T!

Black Widow is in cinemas from July 7, order it on Disney+ with Premier Access from July 9. 


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