Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow might be considered her breakout role, but depicting Marvel’s indomitable assassin on-screen isn’t the only time she’s taken over as the quintessential femme fatale. Incidentally enough, while 2010s Iron Man 2 did mark her MCU debut, it wasn’t technically ScarJo’s first superhero flick; that can be credited to Frank Miller’s The Spirit.
But one similarity remains – her discomfort concerning the costume she was supposed to do in The Spirit, a feeling the actress would later experience once again in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
The Spirit – Scarlett Johansson Felt Uneasy Wearing A Nazi Costume
Based on Will Eisner’s newspaper comic strip of the same name, The Spirit is a neo-noir film written and helmed by renowned comic book writer Frank Miller, someone who Scarlett Johansson had been dying to work with.
“I really just wanted to work with Frank,” the award-winning actress told Dark Horizons in an old interview. Even though she’d never been much of a comic book buff, Johansson, 38, was incredibly excited to join forces with Miller. But if there was one thing she wasn’t looking forward to with as much thrill, it was putting on a Nazi uniform; that posed a grave predicament for the Lucy star since hers is a Jewish heritage.
“Of course, I felt squeamish, yeah,” Johansson admitted. “When I first put it on, it was like, you never think you’re going to wear a swastika armband.” But as uncomfortable as it might’ve been for her, Johansson ultimately shed her apprehensions concerning the costume and ended up wearing it in the film anyways. “I mean, the costume – it was very bizarre to put it on at first. Eventually, it was like, ‘Oh, my grandfather’s rolling over in his grave right now,'” she joked.
Johansson wouldn’t, however, repeat that gesture years later when she would be filming The Winter Soldier with Chris Evans.
The Winter Soldier – Why ScarJo Refused to Wear A Tennis Outfit
Being a Jew and putting on a Nazi costume must be harrowing, but the central and perhaps the only reason why Johansson went ahead with it was that she found it an essential element for the movie. The absurdity and “tongue-in-cheek” nature of their outfits in The Spirit added to the irony and humor upon which much of the project was propped up. What didn’t make sense, however, was wearing a s*xy tennis attire as Natasha Romanoff in Anthony Russo’s 2014 film.
“When we were doing Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” she told Fatherly, “This is a really funny thing — the look is fantastic and utilitarian.” What the creators and writers wanted for the MCU veteran’s opening scene with Evans’ Steve Rogers was for her to dress up in tennis clothes.
“She first drives up in this beautiful car and picks up Cap, and initially, in the script, it was like, she arrives in her tennis whites, with a blonde wig,” the Lost in Translation actress revealed. Fortunately enough, the idea was “very quickly killed” because besides aiming to s*xualize Johansson’s character, the outfit didn’t have any relevant, productive connotations attached to it whatsoever.
The Spirit can be streamed on Netflix.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is available on Disney+.
Source: Dark Horizons