Scarlett Johansson

“I did not see it coming”: Florence Pugh Was Surprised With Marvel’s Decision With Yelena After Scarlett Johansson’s Retirement in Avengers: Endgame

Florence Pugh has gained critical acclaim for her performances in both independent and mainstream films. Pugh has starred in several other films, including the historical drama Outlaw King, the action-thriller The Commuter, and the horror film Midsommar. In 2019, she appeared in the critically acclaimed film Little Women, for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova
Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova

Her breakthrough role came in MCU’s Black Widow, directed by Cate Shortland. The movie stars Scarlett Johansson in the lead role alongside David Harbour and Rachel Weisz. The movie shed light on the origins of the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Florence Pugh recently revealed that her character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Yelena Belova, underwent some changes following the events of Black Widow.

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Changes Florence Pugh’s Character Had To Go Through

After making her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in the 2021 film, where she played the role of Natasha Romanoff’s estranged younger sister and fellow assassin, Yelena Belova, Florence Pugh’s character seemingly found her lost family at the end of the film. However, that happy ending was short-lived, and so was Pugh’s version of Yelena Belova in the Black Widow film.

During an interview with Marvel for Marvel Studios’ Hawkeye: The Official Collector Special, Florence Pugh revealed some insights into her role as Yelena Belova in the aftermath of the events depicted in Black Widow. According to Pugh, even before Hawkeye, she had an inkling that if Marvel Studios decided to revisit Yelena’s character, she would have to approach it from a completely different perspective.

Florence Pugh

“I think when we finished Black Widow I knew in the back of my head that if this character was asked to come back, [she] would be a completely different person because the whole film, the whole storyline of Black Widow, is that she’s got her sister back and she’s found her family again.”

Also Read: Split Star Haley Lu Richardson Rejected $48M Florence Pugh Horror Thriller as She Didn’t Want to Star in “Another Disturbing Movie”

Why Was Florence Pugh Shocked By Hawkeye’s Storyline

Despite being a prequel, the post-credits scene of Black Widow jumped ahead in the MCU timeline to depict Yelena’s visit to Natasha’s grave after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Pugh revealed that she had already pondered about how Yelena was affected by her sister’s sacrifice in Endgame.

It was unexpected for Pugh to see Yelena going after Clint Barton in Hawkeye, but she found the experience fascinating as she got to delve into the psyche of her character, who, to everyone else, is seen as a wrong person despite being inherently good.

Florence Pugh
Florence Pugh

“I did not see it coming, that they were going to put me and Clint against each other, which I thought was a really cool twist. So, I think in my head I’d already done the planning. I was really happy to have such a raw and painful revenge. It was fascinating to be – in my character’s head – a good person, but to everybody else, she is bad. That was an interesting line to walk.”

Hawkeye is available for streaming on Disney+.

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