Scarlett Johansson has hit out at the “hypersexualised” representation of her character Black Widow in Iron Man 2.
The 2010 film marked the actor’s first appearance as Natasha Romanoff in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Johansson is set to reprise her role as the titular character in forthcoming Marvel film Black Widow, and reflected upon her early days with the character in a new interview with Collider.
“While [Iron Man 2] was really fun and had a lot of great moments in it, the character is so sexualised, you know?” she said.
“[She is] really talked about like she’s a piece of something, like a possession or a thing or whatever – like a piece of ass, really. And Tony even refers to her as something like that at one point … ‘I want some.'”
Johansson added: “Maybe at that time that actually felt like a compliment. You know what I mean? Because my thinking was different … My own self-worth was probably measured against that type of comment [but], like a lot of young women, you come into your own and you understand your own self-worth.”
She went on to praise how Black Widow will “move away from the kind of hypersexualisation of this character,” adding: “I’m a mom and my life is different. 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, you know?”
Johansson also recently said that she hopes the forthcoming Black Widow film brings fans “some resolution” after her character’s demise in Avengers: Endgame.
Black Widow takes place after Captain America: Civil War, and presumably before Avengers: Infinity War. Johansson’s character Natasha Romanoff died in Endgame after sacrificing herself on Vormir to help Clint Barton (aka Hawkeye) obtain the Soul Stone. Unlike Iron Man’s Tony Stark, Romanoff did not receive a funeral in the film.
Black Widow is set to be released on July 7 in the UK and follow a hybrid release model, available to watch on Disney+ and in US cinemas from July 9.