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We knew Scarlett Johansson was pregnant while filming Avengers: Age of Ultron, but now we can see how pregnant she really was during at least one scene -- and how much Joss Whedon and company had to hide for Black Widow's story. (How ironic if Black Widow were shown to be pregnant in that movie in particular, with its whole controversial scene about her sterilization.)
At the time in 2014, Scarlett Johansson and Romain Dauriac were expecting the child who would be their daughter, Rose. Avengers: Age of Ultron's team discussed how they would hide her pregnancy for the movie. Joss Whedon said they didn't trim any scenes. They made it work from a mixture of three Black Widow stunt doubles, close-ups, concealing costumes and angles, and visual effects.
Here's what they were all trying to conceal, as shown in a screen shot of a scene included in Marvel's Infinity Saga box set:
Oh man. That Black Widow costume does not look comfortable under any conditions, but while several months into a pregnancy? I would be cursing every single person who helped stuff me into that thing on set.
Scarlett Johansson appreciated the help, though. As she told E! in 2015, when she couldn't film a particular scene, one of her three stand-ins would wear dotted maps on her face for the visual effects artists to later graft Johansson's image onto the stand-in's face in post-production.
I did as much as I could do and filled in all the blanks later on. ... I have a really amazing, amazing stunt team around me. My stunt double, Heidi Moneymaker—and that's her real name—is really incredible, and this time took a lot of the punches for me, literally.
Chris Evans added to E! that it was a surreal experience to have so many Black Widow stunt doubles on set:
It's always funny. You walk by, 'Hey, Scarlett—oh, weird. You're not Scarlett at all. Sorry.' A lot of fake Scarletts around.
I'm just glad they could make it work, through technology and stunt help, instead of writing out Black Widow completely or giving her nothing to do. (Not that everyone loved her Age of Ultron storyline.)
Scarlett Johansson's Natasha first arrived in the MCU in Iron Man 2 and continued in The Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier before Age of Ultron. From there, she returned in Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. She sacrificed her life in Endgame, but that's not the end of her story.
Scarlett Johansson is only just now getting her own solo movie in Black Widow, and the actress said it's not too late, the timing is actually perfect. Black Widow is coming to theaters May 1, 2020. In the meantime, Johansson is up for TWO Oscars this year. It's her first time ever being nominated and she hit the double jackpot. We'll find out if she got lucky next Sunday, February 9 when the Academy Awards air on ABC.