Posts tagged black widow
Even though the audience remains unclear, discovering the character’s past, it’s important for me as an actor to know where I’m coming from, what my backstory is. Of course the character, the Widow, has this complex backstory, with many different incarnations. For me it’s important to think of the Widow as being a very contemporary character. She’s not standing the test of time, we’re talking about somebody who’s in her late twenties, early thirties, and she’s had the history that she’s had, been involved with the Russian KGB, obviously, she was taken as a young child and put into the Widow training program, and you learn more and more about what she did, during that time.
You know what I find truly remarkable about this scene? Is not just that she JUMPS OFF A SPEEDING ALIEN VEHICLE HUNDREDS OF FEET ABOVE THE GROUND but that she knows the EXACT MOMENT to make the jump to not only hit the roof (which, at that height and speed is an incredibly small target) but to hit it at a point where she isn’t going to a) immediately crash into a wall or b) be carried by her momentum over the other side and down a gazillion stories to the ground.
Natasha had to calculate IN HER HEAD IN THE MIDDLE OF A BATTLE the velocity of the alien vehicle, the size of Stark Tower’s roof, how high she was above it (so she wasn’t so high she’d be killed just by the fall to the roof), how long it would take her to make the jump successfully, what position to hit the roof in to minimize the physical damage, possibly even half a dozen other things. A miscalculation either way—too soon or too late—would’ve killed her.
Yeah, when she describes someone genius-level smart in CA:TWS as “slightly smarter than her but only slightly,” she’s NOT KIDDING. Natasha is probably either just as or very nearly as smart as Bruce or Tony or Jane or Betty, her training just meant those smarts were put to use in a different way. And that it’s something she’s trained to manipulate people’s expectations of, just like with her sex. IMO, if Natasha asks to have something explained, it’s not because she doesn’t understand, it’s because she doesn’t want the person she’s asking to KNOW she understands. Because her stock in trade is getting people to underestimate her and then using that against them. And this scene is the proof. Because when no one is watching, she is BRILLIANT.
As if anyone could really forget the most quoted line in “The Avengers” — “I’ve got red in my ledger; I’d like to wipe it out” — it helps to have that line fresh in your mind when deconstructing what Widow does in the final act of what’s billed as a Captain America movie. Black Widow doesn’t wipe out the red in her ledger. No, she blasts her ledger out to the world, like it was the grisliest email forward of all time. We know from her heart to heart with Hawkeye that the shame she feels about what she’s done is real, and she hesitates when she realizes that taking down the bad guys means revealing her secrets. But she does it anyway, because she’s not just a spy anymore; she’s a super hero, and she makes a super hero’s sacrifice. (x)