April 18, 2012 -- The Avengers Interviews: Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner (ign.com)

Black Widow and Hawkeye, straight from the set of Marvel's opus!

Continuing our coverage of IGN's visit to the set of The Avengers, today we have our full chat with Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner -- a.k.a. the Black Widow and Hawkeye. The interview took place during a break from shooting a second-unit fight scene in a rundown old train station that was boiling hot and dusty and generally miserable. Miserable, that is, until Ms. Johansson walked in...

Question: They told us a little bit of what's happening in there.

Jeremy Renner: I can't tell you anything of what's happening in there. [laughter]


Q: Can you tell us how you're reacting or being proactive about what is going on in there? What are you doing in regards to what is happening?

Scarlett Johansson: What do you think is happening in there?


Q: Well, it seems like there's some kind of force that's arrived in New York City and I imagine you guys are there to put a stop to whatever that is.

JR: We're avenging something.

SJ: We're avenging something.

JR: [Laughs] We're fighting, I can tell you that, so it's hot and sweaty.


Q: Each other?

JR: Perhaps. We're fighting together I think and we're having a good time. It's good fun, a lot of work.


Q: Scarlett, you did a lot of hand-to-hand combat in Iron Man 2. Do you up that or do you take on any weapons in this film?

SJ: Yeah, there's a combination of all that stuff. There's definitely a lot of hand-to-hand combat still, and [a] combination of different fighting styles: gymnastics, Muay Thai, boxing, kick-boxing, all of that.

JR: You do all that?

SJ: You know I do all that. We use all kinds of stuff: knives, guns, all sorts of things. Yeah.


Q: You each appeared in previous Marvel movies but how much time has passed? I assume since you're both agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. you already know each other, but how much time has passed and is there anything in this movie where we see the two of you meeting for the first time?

JR: I can tell you this. There are so many characters in this movie, as you know, that it can't really go too much [into] backstories of characters. We're telling a massive story here with a lot of characters in it, so the time is spent on all of us, I guess, saving things… [laughs]

SJ: But that's never been established. We've obviously known each other for a long time. We have a very rich history, the two characters, with one another, but as far as the timeline, I think it's pretty much the time that has passed since Iron Man 2 came out, I think a couple years, but since [then] we've seen each other, we've been working together the whole time.


Q: Since you're both agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., I think we assume you'll work together.

SJ: Yeah, working together and apart and whatever.


Q: Is this the romance in the movie?

SJ: There's no time for romance. [laughter] We have s#!t to avenge.


Q: You said there's a rich history, but what is the nature of the relationship? What is the back and forth between them?

SJ: Um, I think that these…

JR: They fought a lot together.

SJ: We've fought a lot together.

JR: They've done a lot of missions together and they fight well together, and so you definitely get a sense that they've seen a lot of s#!t together, and they complement each other.


Q: So are they paired for most of the movie, your characters?

SJ: We're all kind of paired together in different ways.

JR: Yeah.

SJ: But our fighting styles are not similar but they definitely complement one another. Both of us fight hand-to-hand and we're just humans with no abilities.

JR: Yeah, we're humans.

SJ: But we're fighting in a different way than everybody else. We do a lot of fighting on the ground.

Q: How do your characters react to gods like Loki and Thor?

JR: Yeah, I ask myself that every day. I don't know. How do I know Thor? I guess I was in the movie. I was going to put an arrow in his head, but I don't know this guy, do I? So I always ask those questions and [director] Joss [Whedon] is a very creative… it's a complicated universe, as you guys know, and there's a couple different versions of this universe, so it's interesting. We find reasons to make it work, but I think the general overall assumption is that we all at least have an understanding of each other… or a misunderstanding of each other is probably better.


Q: We talked to Robert [Downey, Jr.] and he said that Hawkeye likes to do things on his own, he's his own guy, kind of like a rogue agent a little bit. Can you describe that aspect of the character and how that plays out in the movie?

JR: Yeah, that kind of plays into being a sniper in general. That's sort of philosophy of snipers that [they] hang out on rooftops and trees and things like that by themselves, and don't really kind of work with anybody else. So that just kind of… even in military, it's the same sort of thing, so I think it just plays into his character and being a rogue agent.


Q: Tom [Hiddleston] told us yesterday that Loki has scenes with each of you in the Avengers. Can you talk about working with Tom and why Loki is having these individual conversations?

SJ: Well, I think that he's…

JR: Because it's written in the script. [laughter]

SJ: [Laughs] I think that he has an agenda, and I think the best way to break up a group is by trying to manipulate the situation by going individually to each one of our characters and you kind of see that. He's playing good cop/bad cop, but it's just him in some way with each one of us. I think he's trying to figure out a way to put holes in the team, trying to figure out a way to disassemble us in some way and manipulate us individually. I absolutely [love] working with Tom. He's such an incredibly… I don't know. There's just a theatrical way about him that's just a lovely way to work. Especially when you're living in this universe that's larger than life -- reality in a sense. That kind of theatrical style is really appreciated, I think. He's just been great. I think he's having so much fun with that character, and I don't know. I think we all had our own interactions with his character…


Source: ign.com