Scarlett Johansson on breaking down her Black Widow character, she’s “really reckoning with the trauma”

Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Not everything in life — or movies — is black and white. There can be some gray areas, which is a big part of Scarlett Johansson‘s Black Widow character’s past. The 36-year-old actress stars as Natasha Romanoff in the upcoming Marvel film that takes a deep dive into her background.

“Natasha is really reckoning with the trauma she has faced and she’s been running away from,” Johansson tells Entertainment Tonight.  “She’s been a part of a large organization for her entire life, and I think that there’s a lot of gray in that.”

Johansson goes on: “You’re working towards a greater goal — for better or worse — and it’s not driven by any personal desire. We’ve alluded to that — I mean, that was Thanos’ big argument, right? — and the Marvel universe has played with that idea a lot.”  Thanos, of course, is the prime villain Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.

“In [Avengers: Age of] Ultron, [it was] how many casualties for a greater good is acceptable? And [Captain America] has always said zero. It’s been a big debate, that’s what Civil War was about,” Johansson explained. “It’s a gray area that she had no active choice in but has felt so guilty about, and [she’s] not understood or been able to really deal with the trauma that she’s experienced because of that. And it’s Yelena who allows her to — even, like, forces her to — reflect on that, so she can move past it.”

Black Widow will hit theaters and be available on Disney+ with Premier Access on July 9.

Marvel Studios is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.