CinemaBlend participates in affiliate programs with various companies. We may earn a commission when you click on or make purchases via links.
Warning: SPOILERS for Black Widow are ahead!
The character of Taskmaster in Marvel’s Black Widow is a hell of a concept to behold. A fighter who can copy the moves of anyone they study, with a seemingly photographic memory, Scarlett Johansson’s returning Avenger had her work cut out for her with this latest nemesis. And according to Olga Kurylenko, the featured actor behind one of the latest MCU adversaries to take the screen, it was a role so crazy that it took multiple stunt doubles to execute.
As we head into Week Two of Marvel’s Black Widow at the box office, it’s time to dig deeper into some of the film’s darker secrets. Part of that endeavor meant that I got to speak with Olga Kurylenko on behalf of the press tour that’s promoting the MCU’s return to the movies. So with Taskmaster being obscured for most of the film, I wondered just how much screen time Ms. Kurylenko got when it came to bringing to life a piece of Natasha Romanoff’s past that she thought had died. Here’s what the actress had to say when asked if it was her in the Taskmaster suit all the long:
The answer is, 'I wish I was.' You’ve seen what the character does, unfortunately, physically I don’t have all the skills. So I had to be [doubled.] I actually had more than one person doubling me, because there are different people specializing in different things. No one person had all of Taskmaster’s skills. … It’s kind of cool in a way, because the character is so strong and so amazing with the skills that they have that it’s more than one person that have to work on it.
Being a fan of Olga Kurylenko’s work, especially since she played Daniel Craig’s James Bond accomplice Camille Mendes in Quantum of Solace, it intrigued me to see her name in Black Widow's opening credits. Imagine the surprise when seeing her revealed to be the face of a grown-up Antonia Dreykov, the daughter of Ray Winstone’s General Dreykov, leader of the infamous Red Room program. Even more surprising was the fact that she was the character who would become known as Taskmaster in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
There wasn’t even a whisper of this potential Black Widow reveal, as Marvel Studios engaged in its usual campaign of secrecy during the film’s production. In fact, Olga Kurylenko’s mere presence was even hidden from some of the cast and crew working on the latest MCU entry. Whisked to and from set with a rather concealing umbrella, Kurylenko was able to get onto set, act as a menacing figure under her in-universe father’s control and head back without anyone being the wiser.
It’s probably another reason why having several Taskmaster stunt doubles was such a blessing, as Black Widow’s production didn’t associate Olga Kurylenko with the role entirely. Leading to another shocking twist in the story arc that’s seen Scarlet Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff finally clear a long standing sin off her red ledger, Antonia Dreykov is freed along with the other former Widows of the Red Room. No longer needing to hide her involvement from the world, could there be a chance that we’ll see Ms. Kurylenko return to the MCU? When asked, she only had this to say:
If I told you, I’d have to kill you. … I have no idea. I really don’t. Ask Marvel.
No one ever knows when Marvel will come calling for them to serve, so at the moment, it looks like Black Widow is Olga Kurylenko’s big Marvel moment. You can catch her, and her stunt doubles, fighting against Scarlett Johansson and her avenging family in the film, which is currently being shown in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access. If you haven’t signed up for Disney+ just yet, check out the Disney Bundle offer that’ll give you access to that platform, as well as Hulu and ESPN+, for one convenient subscription!