In honor of today’s U.S. release of Avengers: Age of Ultron (since we don’t do sequel numbers now, just subheads), I thought I’d share an interview with Scarlett Johansson about the nuances of her character, the Black Widow, in light of her backstory as an orphan, trafficked as a young child, brainwashed and forced into service but now using the skills that were imposed upon her for an arguably, but not entirely, noble cause.
J/K! It’s about whether or not she can wear underwear under her tight costume, courtesy of Extra interviewer Jerry Penacoli. Because the public has a right to know. And while this is a video of a female celebrity being asked an inappropriate, intrusive question by a representative of a national entertainment news franchise, I like to think of it also as a commentary on the human condition. Because who among us hasn’t encountered the guy who…
… thinks there might be a polite, appropriate way to ask us about your underpants in a professional setting?
JERRY PENACOLI. Now, were you able to wear undergarments with your —
SCARLETT JOHANSSON. You’re, like, the fifth person to ask me that today.
JP. Well, no, because —
SJ. What is going on? What — since when did people start asking each other about — in interviews about their underwear?
JP. No! No, because it is such a skintight — Here’s why.
SJ. I’ll leave it up to your imagination. Okay?
JP. See? Is that…
SJ. Whatever you feel I should be wearing — or not wearing under that costume is what I…
And then he tries to convince you you’re silly for being offended?
JP. This is not — It — It — Well…
JP. Is it inappropriate?
SJ. To ask somebody what kind of underpants they wear?
JP. I didn’t ask you what kind.
SJ. You just asked me if I was wearing any.
JP. Could you. Could you.
JEREMY RENNER. No, what do you wear under underneath?
JP. Could you. Like, what do you wear underneath something like that?
JP. Do you wear clothes?
SJ. You wear dungarees. You can’t wear clothes under it. It’s like a — it’s like a wetsuit.
And then thinks he’s all clever and has caught you out?
JP. Okay. So you answered my question.
SJ. Well, I don’t know. Maybe it’s a little bit more than a wetsuit. Was I wearing underwear? I mean, gosh. I mean, ask Joss.
And then reveals that he asked your boss about your underpants?
JP. I did! I did ask him, and he said —
SJ. You asked Joss what kind of underwear he wears?
JP. No! No, no! I asked —
SJ. What kind of interview is this?!
(Okay, that one might be a little less universal.)
And then finally, he gives up on your underpants and just starts talking with your male companion about “man” stuff?
JP. This is the movie that people have been waiting for. Because anybody who has seen any of the other Marvel films, now this is sort of like the — you know, it’s, it’s the culmination.
SJ. It’s the grandaddy.
JP. It’s the grandaddy! Right?
JR. The movie’s so darn big that you don’t even — You just hope you, like, just do your part.
SJ. I understand you — you got hurt pretty badly, though. How’d you do that?
JR. Fighting her.
JR. And I hurt myself.
SJ. I think I also —
JR. I think, like, my bowstring got caught in my belt, or something, and I twisted my neck wrong… It was really…
SJ. When you, like, dislocate a shoulder taking off your socks.
JP. So you didn’t hurt him.
JR. No, she didn’t hurt me. [to Johansson] Yeah, exactly.
SJ. It’s really, like, not a good story at all.
JP. Twisting your neck, or you…
JR. Yeah, totally.
JP. Oh, man.
“Oh, man” is one way of putting it.