Florence Pugh Explains Yelena’s Changes From Black Widow to Hawkeye

Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova in Black Widow and Hawkeye

Acclaimed Marvel Cinematic Universe star Florence Pugh insists changes were necessary for Yelena Belova between Black Widow and Hawkeye.

Speaking with Marvel for Hawkeye: The Official Collector Special, the British actor explained why a character shift was necessary for Yelena after Black Widow. “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,” she said.


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Yelena Changed By Natasha’s Avengers: Endgame Sacrifice

Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) sacrificed herself in Endgame to obtain the Soul Stone, allowing the Avengers to undo Thanos’ snap that wiped out half of the universe. Pugh said one of her first thoughts going into Black Widow was “where Yelena’s head was at.” In the post-credits scene, Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) assigned Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) as Yelena’s next target after blaming him for Natasha’s death. Pugh revealed that was a twist she “didn’t see coming” but was intrigued by, claiming she “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.”

Additionally, Pugh credited Black Widow director Cate Shortland for giving her the leeway to transform Yelena into the character she wanted her to be. “I was just so amazed and excited that Cate was like, ‘Look, this is yours. It’s going to go to you. You’re going to continue this character, and you make it essentially whatever you want it to be.’ That was just so exciting and thrilling for me.”

RELATED: Dune Director Believes Florence Pugh May Eventually Be Prime Minister

Yelena Returns in Thunderbolts

Pugh is set to return as Yelena in the upcoming MCU feature film, Thunderbolts, starring alongside Harrison Ford (General Thaddeus E. “Thunderbolt” Ross), Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes), David Harbour (Red Guardian), Olga Kurylenko (Taskmaster) and Louis-Dreyfus, with the assassin set to lead the eponymous antihero team. Furthermore, Pugh reportedly has an undisclosed MCU project in the pipeline as part of her remaining Marvel contract. Thunderbolts is slated to begin filming this June, as confirmed by Louis-Dreyfus.

Fans can stream Black Widow and Hawkeye via Disney+.

Source: Marvel via The Direct


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