Before Scarlett Johansson was being asked about the iconic Black Widow suit, she was working across a wide variety of genres, from horror (Under the Skin) to romantic comedies (Chef) to social thrillers wrapped in romantic trappings (Scoop) to creepy-crawly action extravaganzas (Eight Legged Freaks).Much of her work contains small elements of the depth she brought to headlining one of Marvel’s biggest properties with Black Widow.
While these roles show off Johansson’s range as an actor, many aspects of the films also gave her experience, training and resume credentials which would ultimately show the world and Marvel’s powers that be that she could carry a franchise on her shoulders. From working against green screens to keeping mum about big plot twists, these are some of the roles that prepared Johansson for her biggest payday to date.
Not only did starring in Sofia Coppola’s critically acclaimed film prove Johansson could do award-garnering work with big, established industry names, Lost in Translation became a smash critically and commercially, taking in more than 20 times its budget at the box office alone before going to home video. It made Johansson a household name in the U.S., but it also made her a recognizable face around the world, something the Marvel Cinematic Universe wants for its global blockbusters. Navigating the press tour and awards campaign for the film also proved Johansson could handle a sudden, massive amount of scrutiny with aplomb, something Black Widow certainly asked her to do for an extended period of time.