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Q&A: Scarlett Johansson on Chris Evans and the ‘Captain America’ Sequel

Black Widow and Captain America first met on-screen 10 years ago

Scarlett Johansson joined the Marvel universe in 2010’s “Iron Man 2” as the Black Widow, a role she’s reprised in two other films, including “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” She spoke to Variety about her decade-long friendship with Chris Evans and the pressures of playing a superhero.

Do you remember the first time you met Chris?
Yeah, the first time I met Chris was 10 delightful years ago on “The Perfect Score.” Our story lines didn’t cross paths too much. We did have one scene where we had to sing together. I was talking to Chris about it the other day, actually.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen “The Perfect Score.” What happens?
Well, you’re going to have to rewatch it. Even then, there was an ease between us onscreen.

Then you did “The Nanny Diaries.”
And then we did “Avengers.” We got to see one another grow in many ways and change. [“Captain America: The Winter Solider”] was the first time I had ever worked with him where he was the male lead. Chris is the only actor I can imagine playing the character. He makes something that could feel stale feel fresh. I don’t know how he does it.

He said he was unsure about accepting the role. Did you feel that too?
I talked to him a little about it, because I had already signed on to do “Iron Man.” Of course, the pressure wasn’t on my shoulders like it was on Chris’s. I was playing a character that Marvel was invested in, but we didn’t know if the audience was going to be totally behind the Widow at that point. It was like I was dipping my toe in. He was taking the full brunt of the production on his shoulders. It can feel like a gilded cage at times.

He told me he wants to direct full-time.
I’m sure he will make a wonderful director. At least, he’ll make a great actor’s director. He’s very curious and he throws the ball back with fervor. He loves to rally the entire group. Even if you’re just not having it — “Chris I’ve had the longest week of stunts and my body hurts” — he’s like, “All the more reason for you to go out and celebrate!” I think that’s probably because he comes from a big family.

He also told me he only works out an hour a day—and eats whatever he wants.
I don’t even want to hear about that. I’m a girl trying to keep up with these guys. I look around, Chris is eating gummy bears and Skittles, and I’m eating a bag of dry popcorn. Oh well.

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