Scarlett Johansson admitted that her Black Widow character was initially treated 'like a possession' and 'a piece of a--'

Scarlett Johansson admitted that her Black Widow character was initially treated 'like a possession' and 'a piece of a--'
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Scarlett Johansson in "Black Widow." Disney/Marvel
  • Johansson says she's happy the "hyper-sexualized" tone of Black Widow is gone.

  • She points out a scene in "Iron Man 2" where she felt like the character was "a piece of a--."

  • "Maybe at that time that actually felt like a compliment," Johansson reflects to Hello Beautiful.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Ever since Scarlett Johansson took on the role of Natasha Romanoff (aka Black Widow) in Marvel's 2010 hit "Iron Man 2," the actress has been navigating how the character is sexualized.

Now over a decade later, with her character finally getting an eponymous standalone movie out next month, she's proud to see that the "hyper-sexualized" tone of the character is finally gone.

"It definitely has changed and I think part of that change ... is actually from me too," Johansson, 36, told Hello Beautiful.

"I'm a mom and my life is different," she said, reffering to her 6-year-old daughter Rose whom she parents with ex-husband Romain Dauriac. "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."

In "Iron Man 2," Johansson's character was introduced as eye candy for Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). Hired as his personal assistant, the actress plays Romanoff as flirty, though it's revealed later in the movie that was all a way to get close to Stark as she was planted there by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson).

Looking back, however, Johansson felt the character was "so sexualized."

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Scarlett Johansson and Robert Downey Jr. in "Iron Man 2." Paramount Pictures/Marvel Studios

"[She's] really talked about like she's a piece of something, like a possession or a thing or whatever - like a piece of a--, really," Johansson said. "And Tony even refers to her as something like that at one point."

Johansson is referring to the last line in the "Iron Man 2" scene when Stark first meets Romanoff.

The scene starts with Stark asking Romanoff, "What's your name, lady?" And then asks her to enter the boxing ring where he's sparring with Happy (Jon Favreau, who also directed the movie) so he can give her a once over.

Now outside of the ring and talking to Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), Stark looks up Romanoff, who is using the name Natalie Rushman, with his tech. He's not only impressed by her resume, but also with a photo he found of Romanoff posing in a black lingerie.

After Romanoff puts Happy in a submission hold, she leaves the gym in which Stark turns to his longtime love interest, Potts, and says, "I want one."

"Maybe at that time that actually felt like a compliment. You know what I mean? Because my thinking was different," Johansson said of the line, adding that her "own self-worth was probably measured against that type of comment."

But Johansson said her perspective has changed now.

"Now people, young girls, are getting a much more positive message," Johansson said. "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" takes place following the events of "Captain America: Civil War" in which Romanoff must face her complicated past. Johansson stars alongside Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz, and David Harbour. It's out in theaters and on Disney+ July 9.

Editor's note: A previous version of this article attributed Johansson's response to Collider. The article has since been updated to show that Johannson was speaking with Hello Beautiful.

Read the original article on Insider

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