Natasha Romanoff is a Jill of all trades, becoming exceptionally accomplished at anything she chooses to pick up. She is quite possibly the world’s most skilled assassin and unlike most of her fellow Avengers, Romanoff does so without the aid of technology or being a God.
Little is known about the background of the cinematic Black Widow. Like her comic book counterpart, she has a Russian last name and fluency in the language yet it’s unsure whether she was originally trained by the Russian government. Scarlett Johansson, who portrays her in the films, has hinted at a “shady past.” This could mean being trained by Russians against the United States or by villains. It has been confirmed that she is multi-lingual in at least six languages, including Latin, an expert in multiple martial arts, adept with countless weapons and able to hack into any computer. SHIELD often sends her undercover to accomplish their goals and two of her closest friends are fellow SHIELD agents Phil Coulson and Clint Barton.
Scarlett Johansson was born on November 22, 1984 in New York City. Johansson started acting as a child and made her film debut at age nine. Since then, she has had many varied roles from Home Alone 3 to Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige to multiple films under Woody Allen. In 2001, she made her first film based off a comic book series, Ghost World. Her first appearance as the Black Widow was in Iron Man 2.
Johansson said this about her character in The Avengers:
“To be honest, I really didn’t know what the future would hold for the Black Widow after Iron Man 2. I didn’t know how the fans would respond, but to be a part of the Marvel Universe and playing such a dynamic, ass-kicking character is pretty exciting. The first time you saw this character in Iron Man 2, you didn’t get to learn much about her because she’s a bit of a slippery fish. She still has many different faces she puts on and, to this day, she still is divisive in that way. In this film, audiences will get to see more of her history and kind of shady past, which to me is very exciting because the darker part of the character was always very appealing to me.”
In 2007, Scarlett Johansson portrayed Cinderella as part of a Disney marketing campaign for its theme parks. This photo was taken by Annie Leibovitz.