The 37-year-old made her first appearance as Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, in the 2010 film alongside Robert Downey Jr’s titular superhero.
Johansson, who reprised the role for the seventh time in last year’s Black Widow, spoke to Vanity Fair about the challenges she faced when shooting her first Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movie.
The Lucy star said that she was in her early 20s at the time she was cast, admitting that she had “never stepped foot in a gym”.
“That was a humongous moment for me because I was, I don’t know, 23 or 24 when I was cast in Iron Man 2,” Johansson said.
“I had never stepped foot in a gym, and I had five weeks to prepare myself for these huge stunt sequences,” she said. “Back then when we were doing it, over a decade ago, it was before we kind of figured out how to be most efficient in the process of shooting stunt work – what could be handed off to other stunt people and what the actor would practically need to know.”
“So I was doing these huge choreographed sequences and I had no previous experience with any of that stuff. It was just a massive lifestyle change immediately upon getting cast,” she described.
Johansson also said that she had no idea how to use the gym equipment. She credited her successful training to fitness expert Bobby Storm, who helped her understand what “functional training was”.
In June 2021, Johansson said she is happy that her superhero character is no longer “sexualised” and treated “like a possession”.
The Avengers star spoke about how her own growing maturity as a woman has influenced the depiction of her character.