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Watch Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh Spar in ‘Black Widow’ | Anatomy of a Scene

NYT, 23 Jul 2021
Two characters reunite, and start up a fight, in this scene from “Black Widow.”

It has been two decades since Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) has seen Yelena (Florence Pugh). The two were part of a makeshift family unit headed by two Russian undercover agents (David Harbour and Rachel Weisz) before they were sent away to become trained killers. So the trust level is low when the two come together in a Budapest apartment.

Discussing the scene, the director, Cate Shortland, said she wanted to weave elements of the set design into the action, from kitchen knives to curtains.

“We used a stapler,” she said, “the dust. Everything’s kicking up around them.”

Shortland worked with Rob Inch, who choreographed the scene. She said that because Pugh had a history in dance and Johansson had experience in choreography, the two were able to execute a lot of the fight themselves without an overreliance on stunt performers.

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