Scarlett Johansson: 3 Movie Roles She Had Before Playing Black Widow

Scarlett Johansson had a burgeoning acting career even before she became Natasha Romanova aka Black Widow in the Avengers movies. Ahead, we’re breaking down three movie roles the now-35-year-old had before she became part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and a top earner in the entertainment industry

She began her Marvel career in 2010

Johansson is a mother  — she and her ex-husband Romain Dauriac share a 5-year-old daughter, Rose, together — and engaged to Saturday Night Live’s Colin Jost. But back when she signed on for the MCU she’d been neither. 

The two-time Oscar nominated actress made her first MCU appearance in 2010’s Iron Man 2 starring Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, the billionaire who became Iron Man. Acting as a notary, Johansson’s character showed off her fighting skills in the boxing ring. After the introduction, Johansson’s Black Widow would grow to become one of the most well-known superheroes in the MCU with her own stand-alone feature film.

Scarlett Johansson attends the premiere of 'Jojo Rabbit' on Oct. 15, 2019
Scarlett Johansson attends the premiere of ‘Jojo Rabbit’ on Oct. 15, 2019 | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Before Johansson became known for her work as Black Widow, she had a long list of  acting credits to her name. Her work in 2003’s Lost in Translation opposite Bill Murray made her an actress to watch and in the following years up to her MCU debut she continued to land roles. 

‘In Good Company’

Directed by Paul Weitz (American Pie and About a Boy), In Good Company follows Dan Foreman (Dennis Quaid) as he’s replaced in his job by Carter Duryea (Topher Grace), a man half his age with no experience. Johansson’s character, Alex, is Dan’s daughter who meets Carter in the elevator and the two start a relationship. 

Critics responded well to In Good Company when it debuted in 2004. They awarded the film a 82% on Rotten Tomatoes, a certified fresh rating.

‘The Black Dahlia’ 

In this crime thriller based on the 1947 murder of Elizabeth Short, who became known as “The Black Dahlia” following her gruesome death, Johansson played Kay Lake, girlfriend to Los Angeles police Detective Dwight “Bucky” Bleichert (Josh Hartnett).

Directed by Brian De Palma (Scarface), the film followed Hartnett and Aaron Eckhart’s characters as their lives unraveled, both personally and professionally, as a result of the murder. 

The Black Dahlia proved to be a box office failure when it opened in theaters on Sept. 15, 2006. Made for $50 million, it only grossed $49 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo. It had an equally low reception from critics who gave it a 32% on Rotten Tomatoes.

‘Match Point’

A psychological thriller from Woody Allen, Johansson played Nola Rice, a young woman in a love triangle, in 2005’s Match Point. Her costars included Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Matthew Goode, and Emily Mortimer. The film earned positive reviews from critics when it debuted. It earned a 76% on Rotten Tomatoes, a certified fresh rating.

Match Point marked the first of three times Johansson’s worked with the controversial director.  She went on to star in Allen’s Scoop in 2006 and Vicky Christina Barcelona in 2008.

Look out for more movies from Johansson including Sing 2 and maybe Little Shop of Horrors. The actress is rumored to be playing the role of Audrey, according to IMDb, opposite her MCU costar Chris Evans, who also has yet to be confirmed for the film.