Black Widow actor Florence Pugh: ‘Wanted to make Yelena as odd and strange as possible’

screenmixSeptember 3, 2021

Florence Pugh forays into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Black Widow. She dons the role of Yelena Belova, a sister figure to Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff. Her performance has been singled out by many critics as the highlight of the movie.

While both Natasha and Yelena are ‘Black Widows’ or women trained since a young age to be ruthless assassins and a tool of the Russian state, Pugh’s character could not escape the network of Red Room like Natasha did (by defecting to S.H.I.E.L.D).

However, despite the trials and tribulations of her life as a killer and an unwitting pawn of a crime lord, Yelena has retained her sense of optimism, humour, and childlike enthusiasm for little things.

While speaking to Indianexpress.com in a press conference, Pugh revealed that the very idea of being in a movie with Johansson and Cate Shortland (director) was exciting for her. The lure was also the character itself.

She told us, “I was so touched that she is a character that’s loved and followed by so many. And she is Black Widow’s younger sister, so that’s a big role to kind of step into. I was really excited by the possibility of making a new silhouette of a woman in the MCU. There was potential to create new conversations, have new stories and make new moments for women.”

She added that the potential of making something new was the reason she enjoyed playing the role. She lauded Cate for allowing her to “think freely, to create this character and to make her as weird as I wanted her to.”

“I really wanted Yelena to be odd and strange and have weird timing and to fight awesomely,” Pugh said. Black Widow releases on September 3 on Disney Plus Hotstar.