Black Widow: Florence Pugh talks playing Natasha’s ‘little sister’
Florence Pugh is having quite the year. Not only has she starred in the drama Fighting with My Family, the thriller Midsommar, and Greta Gerwig’s upcoming adaptation of Little Women, but the actress is also set to appear alongside Scarlett Johansson in Marvel’s Black Widow. Pugh will play Yelena Belova, the “little sister” of Natasha Romanoff’s, which required the actress to undergo some pretty intense training.
“That was the coolest thing about making it,” Pugh told Den of Geek. “The stunts had these two assassins that needed to move amazingly, and needed to fight off each other.”
Her experience on Fighting with My Family introduced Pugh to the world of stuntmen and stuntwomen, who showed her the ropes, so to speak. She learned everything from kickboxing to knife fighting, which ultimately prepared her for Black Widow.
“So I was in the warehouse for about a month picking up everything that I needed to and then got going,” Pugh said. “It’s a lot of hard work, but ultimately [the stunt coordinators are] up for you doing as much as you want to… and they’re thrilled if you even want to just do a star jump, let alone if you want to get involved with the fighting.”
She also explained how much Johansson influenced her throughout the filmmaking process.
“I had such an amazing summer with Scarlett just opening my eyes to that whole universe… we had such a great time shooting that and it felt very natural to be abusing her and loving her all in the same sentence.”
Pugh then went on to talk about some specific details about Black Widow. For starters, she mentions that Yelena and Natasha have a “sisterly relationship,” having grown up in the same Red Room Academy in Mother Russia. Yet, the two also irritate one another and “come to blows” often enough despite their intense familial relationship, which should pay off beautifully when the film releases on May 1, 2020.
Scarlett Johansson returns as Natasha Romanoff, a spy and assassin who grew up being trained by the KGB before breaking from their grasp and becoming an agent of SHIELD and an Avenger. The film is expected to be set after the events of Captain America: Civil War, but before Avengers: Infinity War.
Black Widow will also feature a star-studded cast including Golden Globe nominee David Harbour (Stranger Things, Hellboy) as Alexei aka The Red Guardian, Florence Pugh (Fighting with My Family) as Yelena Belova, Academy Award-winning actress Rachel Weisz (The Favourite) as Melina and O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale) as Mason.
The movie is being directed by Cate Shortland (Lore) from a script written by Jac Schaeffer (The Hustle).