Scarlett Johansson had played Black Widow, a.k.a. Natasha Romanoff, in three Marvel movies by the time Joss Whedon reassembled the cast for Avengers: Age of Ultron, in theaters May 1. What might've once seemed familiar, however, proved to be the exact opposite when Johansson learned that she was pregnant with a daughter, Rose Dorothy Dauriac. E! News reporter/producer Will Marfuggi talked to the film's cast over the weekend, where the actress and Mark Ruffalo opened up about how Johansson's pregnancy affected production.
"I did as much as I could do and filled in all the blanks later on," said Johansson. When she was unable to film a particular scene, one of three stand-ins would wear dotted maps on their faces. The dot maps guided visual-effects artists who would later graft Johansson's face onto their bodies in post-production.
"I have a really amazing, amazing stunt team around me. My stunt double, Heidi Moneymaker—and that's her real name—is really incredible, and this time took a lot of the punches for me, literally," she added. "This is like our fourth or fifth movie together, so we kind of have a seamless thing between us."
Johansson enjoys "the physical part" of Marvel movies. "I like the fight choreography stuff and getting new weapons," she said. "I'm pretty active."
In the movie, a sequel to 2012's The Avengers, Johansson was able to interact with Mark Ruffalo in a new way. "None of us had gotten to experience that before, to really interact with him as The Hulk and see Banner behind The Hulk, and then it was Mark there doing it," she said of his character, who was created by blending stop-action, stop-motion capture and CGI technology. "It was really cool."
Ruffalo felt the same way. "Before, the first time, I was doing it all alone, and the physical movement of the body was completely different than the facial capture. So I had to sit still and do all the face acting in a room by myself to...many cameras, and this time I got to do it all put together with actors," he shared.
According to Ruffalo, working alongside his co-stars upped his game. "The level of performance in Hulk starts to really deepen and you start to feel more of a real presence in that character," he said. "I get to play off of Scarlett and the other actors, which was so much more helpful than doing it on your own."
Principal photography ended in August, and Johansson announced her daughter's birth in September. So, how is life as a first-time mom?
"You're really good at it," Ruffalo told her.
"Thanks. So far," Johansson said. "I've got plenty of time to not be."
"It's great," she continued. "I'm very, very happy, very fortunate to be able to work and parent at the same time. I've got a pretty rare gig that way, so that's awesome, and I feel very fortunate for that."
For more from Johansson, including how it feels to play "empowered" women in movies like Avengers: Age of Ultron and Lucy, watch the video now.
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