MCU: What Scarlett Johansson’s Male Co-Stars Had to Say About Filming ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ During Her Pregnancy
Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson announced she was expecting a child with then-fiancé Romain Dauriac in 2014. Filming Avengers: Age of Ultron during her pregnancy, the actress, her co-stars, and producers at Marvel Studios had to get creative in hiding the superhero’s baby bump.
‘Black Widow’ star talks about family planning
While engaged to Dauriac, a French journalist, Johansson revealed in an interview that she was in no hurry to head to the altar but was already thinking about starting a family.
“I would like to have my own family, that would be nice. They say it’s never the right time, and I am sure that’s true, but I think you have to plan it like anything else,” Johansson shared, according to E! News. “At some point it is something I look forward to. … picking a time to plan a family feels like something that I could do and not feel as though I was missing out.”
Johansson and Dauriac welcomed daughter Rose in August 2014. The couple married in October of that year but ended up parting ways, officially divorcing in 2017.
Pregnancy as a Marvel superhero
With the help of producers, her co-stars, and a stunt team, Johansson’s pregnancy went unnoticed onscreen while she was portraying Natasha Romanoff in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
“I’m very fortunate that there’s a team around me that is super-supportive in helping all of Widow’s fight moves and badass motorcycle riding happen,” Johansson said in 2015 when promoting the film, according to National Post.
With the magic of CGI and other digital tricks, Johansson appeared as though she was taking on several dangerous feats on her own, including some motorcycle stunts.
“I don’t think you’re allowed to ride a motorcycle when you’re still pregnant,” Johansson said. “I embarrassingly rode some sort of a mechanical bull type of motorcycle, which goes nowhere and doesn’t look cool at all.”
Johansson also credited the stunt team for taking her place when she couldn’t participate in a scene. “I did as much as I could do and filled in all the blanks later on,” the Black Widow actress revealed. “I have a really amazing, amazing stunt team around me.”
Seeing double Scarletts … and sometimes triple
Writer-director Joss Whedon prioritized filming Johansson where her pregnancy wouldn’t be visible while keeping her in the majority of the movie.
“We’re not avoiding any of the danger because the stuntwomen do the danger—as has always been the case,” Whedon told Entertainment Weekly in 2014. “She’s very central to the movie and when we heard [about the pregnancy] we scheduled things around that. She’s not going to spend the whole movie carrying groceries. We didn’t trim any scenes.”
With creative close-ups and several stunt doubles and stand-ins, Natasha Romanoff appeared as her usual self onscreen.
“It’s always funny. You walk by, ‘Hey Scarlett, oh. Weird. You’re not Scarlett at all. Sorry.’ A lot of fake Scarletts around,” co-star Chris Evans remarked on the many stunt women and doubles they had on set for Johansson.
The Captain America actor commended his co-star’s resilience. “She’s just been great. It really hasn’t slowed us down at all,” Evans raved. “She’ll be running around, diving and jumping and doing these things and you’re like ‘She seems like she’s got this.’ “
Marvel co-stars and crew look out for expectant ‘Avengers’ star
Mark Ruffalo, who plays The Hulk, commented on how the cast and crew were doting on the expectant mom. “Yeah, they’re very protective of her, and they try not to put her in any difficult situation,” Ruffalo said of Johansson. “She’s pregnant, and she’s showing, and everyone loves and cares for her.”
Iron Man star Robert Downey, Jr. shared that the entire set was making an effort to have a more laid-back approach to the work day. “This is not going to be a massive grind. It’s not possible,” Downey revealed. “We have to accommodate the latest news from headquarters, which is: ‘Oh my God, Scarlett Johansson is going to have a baby!’ ”
Apparently, all their efforts paid off and no one noticed Johansson’s burgeoning baby bump. Avengers: Age of Ultron ended up being another Marvel box office blockbuster.