Scarlett Johansson Had 3 Different Stunt Doubles While Filming ‘Age of Ultron’
Most people probably wouldn’t profess surprise that a Marvel actor has multiple stunt doubles. Working on Marvel movies is grueling, mentally and physically, especially for a character as athletic and dynamic as Black Widow.
However, Scarlett Johansson had as many as three stunt doubles when she was working on Avengers: Age of Ultron, at least partly for a very big (or small) reason – she was pregnant at the time she shot it.
Scarlett Johansson sees triple
By the time she made Avengers: Age of Ultron, which came out in 2015, Johansson was making her fourth Marvel movie, having played Black Widow in Iron Man 2, The Avengers, and Captain America: Winter Soldier. At the time she shot Ultron, she was pregnant with her first child, a daughter named Rose.
As E! Online reported, this required some extra teamwork. As director Joss Whedon said at the time, “She’s not going to spend the whole movie carrying groceries. We didn’t trim any scenes. We’re like, ‘We’ll make it work.'” And make it work they did, hiring three stuntwomen. The E! article did not identify the three stuntwomen, but a later Hollywood Reporter piece named one of Johansson’s doubles as Heidi Moneymaker. Yes, that’s her real name. Her training as a gymnast comes in very handy.
“The athlete mentality is definitely good to have,” Moneymaker says. “I’ve had so many people come up to me and say, ‘I’m crazy, I’ll do anything! I could be a stuntman or a stuntwoman.’ Those are the kind of people that you don’t want around.”
Brie Larson pays tribute to her doubles too
If Moneymaker’s name sounds familiar, it’s not just because her name is unique. Johansson is not the only Marvel actress she doubles for; she has done the same for Brie Larson on Captain Marvel. Although Larson made a point of doing some of her own stunts, she gave full credit to Moneymaker and her other double, Joanna Bennett, when Larson won the Best Fight trophy at the MTV Movie Awards last year.
“These are the women that trained me and were also the stunt doubles for Captain Marvel. I could not have made this film without them. They are really the baseline of who she is. They are the living embodiment of Captain Marvel,” Larson said.
Moneymaker also spoke, saying, “As young girls, we wanted to be just like Lara Croft and G.I. Jane, so it’s a real honor to be a part of this character and hopefully pass along some of that inspiration and strength that those iconic women brought to us.”
For Marvel stars, it takes more than stunt doubles
Working for Marvel is such serious business that the main stars have more than just two or three stuntwomen, they have a trainer who keeps them disciplined and trim – aggressively so, some fans observe.
Per the Hollywood Reporter, Johansson’s trainer is Eric Johnson, who said the actress was a quick study – maybe too quick. “On the way up (during a rope climb), she kneed me in the face and gave me a nice bloody nose — she was celebrating and I’m fighting back tears, gushing blood,” he says, joking, “she’s dangerous even when she’s not in the Black Widow costume!”
The trainers can work wonders for actors that viewers don’t normally associate with being cut and muscular. One of those is Kumail Nanjiani, star of The Big Sick, who is starring in Marvel’s The Eternals, due out later this year. He stunned fans with his “after” pose, writing on social media, “I would not have been able to do this if I didn’t have a full year with the best trainers and nutritionists paid for by the biggest studio in the world. I’m glad I look like this, but I also understand why I never did before. It would have been impossible without these resources and time.”