Iconic Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow answer the call to action when Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., initiates a daring, globe-spanning recruitment effort to assemble The Avengers team to defeat an unexpected enemy threatening global safety and security. Despite pulling together the ultimate dream team, Nick Fury and longtime confidant Agent Coulson must find a way to convince the Super Heroes to work with, not against each other, when the powerful and dangerous Loki gains access to the Cosmic Cube and its unlimited power.
Directed by Joss Whedon, ‘The Avengers’ (‘Avengers Assemble’ in the UK) stars Chris Evans (Captain America/Steve Rogers), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye/Clint Barton), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/Hulk), Robert Downey Jr (Iron Man/Tony Stark), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow) and Tom Hiddleston (Loki). Cobie Smulders, Clark Gregg and Stellen Skarsgard co-star. Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’ is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since. ’The Avengers’ is available as a 2D Blu-ray Combo Pack, a 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack and on DVD from September 17th in the UK and September 25th in the US. My previous interviews for ‘The Avengers’ can be found here: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Renner and Joss Whedon. Blu-ray and DVD interviews can be found here: Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg, and Tom Hiddleston (more to come).
Do you have a favourite moment from filming ‘The Avengers’?
Scarlett Johansson: For me, I think probably that scene in ‘The Avengers’ where all of us – Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Black Widow – are all kind of in a circle and the camera is panning around all of us and we’re all wielding our weapons looking badass, looking up…
Mark Ruffalo: And what were you thinking then?
Scarlett Johansson: I was thinking that I better look as rad as everybody else (laughs)! Because I don’t want to be the one character where they pan across and I’m checking the back of my gun or itching my nose. I wanna be like, “WHAT! Yeah!”
Mark Ruffalo: You were like that!
Scarlett Johansson: And you were all Hulked out at that moment. And I was thinking, “How embarrassing that Mark Ruffalo has to do this on a big box with his little dance costume,” (laughs).
Mark Ruffalo: (Laughs) I was on a box to get the height, standing trying to look Hulked up. I loved it though, all that motion capture work really paid off. Watching it I was like, “That looks like me!” I was very happy with that.
With ‘The Avengers’ DVD and Blu-ray release coming up, what are thoughts on a film like ‘The Avengers’ re-watchability? Both Joss Whedon and Marvel are known for nods and details in their films.
Scarlett Johansson: With ‘The Avengers’ Blu-ray and DVD, and think there’s all these little fortune cookies that Joss Whedon hides in there for all of the fan boys. It’s really dense, ‘The Avengers’ film is really really dense.
Mark Ruffalo: Oh yeah, they’re gonna love it. And Joss Whedon, he did hide some stuff in ‘The Avengers.’ We’re not supposed to talk about it, but in the Blu-ray of ‘The Avengers’ there’s a lot of things Joss laid in, visual things that unless you have the Blu-ray, you don’t see it.
Mark, one of my favourite things about ‘The Avengers’ was your characters arc, both as Bruce Banner and The Hulk…..
Mark Ruffalo: Yeah. This Hulk is mercurial. He’s very unpredictable; he’s nuanced. There’s a sense of humour there, there’s an ability to communicate. But he’s bristly and he’s incredibly dangerous – like a wild animal. His rage feels real, his reactions to things feel human. What appealed to both Joss Whedon and I about the character is that he would have a common man sort of feel to him and possess this world-weary charm. We agreed he should have a sense of humour about his situation. Based on the last incarnation of The Incredible Hulk, there was the promise that Bruce Banner may actually have a little control over the Behemoth. We wanted him to be fun and interesting as Banner and awesome as The Hulk.
For so long I think Bruce Banner has been trying to negate his anger, his rage. And because he’s trying to negate it all of the time, it has to manifest itself in other ways. Eventually it just blows up and explodes. So there’s a very cool thing where he’s….instead of trying not to be angry, he just accepts that he’s angry. Maybe it’s like a vaccination in that way, in that taking a little bit of what will actually kill you, you start to develop some immunity to it (laughs). I really think that is Bruce Banner’s journey. He doesn’t really know it, and he’s hoping that when he does turn into the Hulk, he is going have some control over it, but he doesn’t know for sure.
There’s a strong family dynamic between the Avengers, grounded emotions on display, many ups and downs….
Scarlett Johansson: Definitely. I mean, Josh Whedon’s dialogue is just so witty and so dry and so clever. I think he’s really invested in each personality. And you can see the, I call them Whedonisms, in the words. There’s a lot of pop culture references. But also there’s a lot of heart behind the characters, you know? When they hurt, their hurt, we relate to them. There’s betrayal, there’s suspicion. These are real feelings and I think the audience will relate to them, just as they have in the ‘Iron Man’ films and ‘Thor’ and ‘Captain America: The First Avenger.’ I think the audience relates to each one of these films because….and I think this is why readers relate to comic books, because these characters are human, but they have these superhuman abilities. And Joss as a fan, I think he was just dedicated in seeing that through. That was a big deal to him, to get that dynamic.
Black Widow, similarly to Hawkeye, she’s very much the lone wolf of the group….
Scarlett Johansson: Yeah. I don’t feel Black Widow feels the need to fit in anywhere. She’s just on a job. I think that she and Hawkeye are the ultimate loners. The two of them are….they work for S.H.E.I.L.D., they are tasked by Nick Fury for this mission, and it does become personal at some point. But up until that point, I think Black Widow is just doing her job. I don’t think she has the social skills to truly blend in somewhere, anywhere. Black Widow is all business. She’s sort of in a grey area. In a sense she’s been fighting the good fight, despite her dark background. But she’s committed because she has to be and her moral ground is more dutiful. She’s militaristic in that way; that’s how she knows right from wrong.
Watching ‘The Avengers,’ do you have a particular scene that stands out for you?
Scarlett Johansson: I really like the fight between Chris Evans’ Captain America and Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man a lot. I think that looks amazing in the film. It’s so amazing and it’s done with such humour – it’s a super funny scene. And also the moment when The Hulk punches Thor in the head (laughs). It’s totally unexpected and the audience just dies over that. That was a great scene. There’s a lot of really great moments in ’The Avengers.’
I've heard rumors of Mark implying in an interview that Bruce and Natasha might hook up in Avengers 2, but I don't know how true they are.