After being delayed from its original 2020 release, Black Widow joined the 2021 movies, and tells the story of where Natasha Romanoff was between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. While it’s always fun to watch the Marvel movies in order, today we’re going to be talking specifically about the actors in Black Widow, the latest Marvel film.
You’ve most likely seen Scarlett Johansson in plenty of other films, but what about Florence Pugh? Or William Hurt? These stars have been in several other projects prior to Black Widow, so here is where you might have seen the Black Widow cast before, and where they'll be next.
MINOR SPOILER ALERT FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN'T SEEN BLACK WIDOW.
Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff)
Scarlett Johansson has portrayed the titular Black Widow since 2010, in Iron Man 2, so it’s a bittersweet finale for this amazing actress who has been in some of the best Marvel movies to date. However, just because she’s been with Marvel for more than a decade, that doesn’t mean she hasn’t done some other incredible films.
Some of Johansson's previous films are Lost in Translation, Girl With a Pearl Earring, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, The Prestige, and Match Point, among many others. In the last decade, she had an important voice role in Her, starred in science fiction film Under The Skin, as well as Jojo Rabbit and the Netflix film, Marriage Story, in the same year, scoring Academy Award nominations for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress in 2020.
Florence Pugh (Yelena Belova)
As the “sister” of Natasha Romanoff, Yelena Belova is another former Red Room assassin who teams up with Black Widow to take down Dreykov. Florence Pugh portrays Yelena in the film, adding to the impressive films that this young actress has done so far.
Pugh has been in films since 2014, making her debut in the drama, The Falling, before receiving attention for her role in Lady Macbeth. After that, she had a main role in the 2018 British miniseries, The Little Drummer Girl, and then portrayed professional wrestler Paige in the biographical sports film, Fighting with My Family.
In 2019, Florence Pugh also portrayed Dani Ardor in the popular horror film, Midsommar, and played Amy March in the period drama, Little Women, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award. After the Black Widow ending, and the end credits scene of the movie, I think we can expect to see a lot more of Yelena in the MCU very soon.
Keep an eye out for this one – and all her pockets, especially in that new Hawkeye TV series, coming out soon.
David Harbour (Alexei Shostakov)
In my opinion, Alexei was one of the main characters in Black Widow who truly carried the film, for his hilarious moments and awesome fighting skills alongside his two “daughters.” David Harbour brought Red Guardian to life and created a memorable Marvel character.
Harbour himself has done plenty in the industry. In film, he’s portrayed Randall Malone in Brokeback Mountain, Shep Campbell in Revolutionary Road, Gregg Beam in Quantum of Solace, D.A. Frank Scanlon in The Green Hornet, Frank Masters in The Equalizer, and the titular Hellboy in Hellboy. Truly, the man has been all over the map, showing off his range of acting talent.
However, David Harbour gained worldwide recognition when signed on to play Jim Hopper in the popular Netflix series, Stranger Things, a role which he still does to this day. Other than that, Harbour has also had some other minor roles on television, like a recurring part in The Newsroom, and one in State of Affairs.
With Stranger Things Season 4 coming (hopefully) soon, it won’t be long until we see him again on our TV screens.
O-T Fagbenie (Mason)
For a film with so many new faces, it was only a matter of time before we were introduced to another S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, which Mason, portrayed by O-T Fagbenie, was in Black Widow. The kind man helped out Natasha in plenty of circumstances, giving her some good gear to take on her enemies.
O-T Fagbenie hasn’t done much on the big screen, with Black Widow being one of his bigger roles, but in television, he has been around. He’s been in several shows as guest stars, such as Doctor Who and Happy Endings. However, he’s also had main roles in shows like Grownups, FM, and a recurring role in the HBO series, Looking.
Currently, O-T Fagbenie stars as Luke Bankole in the hit Hulu series, The Handmaid’s Tale, and is going to be portraying former President Barack Obama in a new series, titled The First Lady, so there’s no denying that he is one busy actor. Hopefully, with his appearance in Black Widow, we might get to see him more in films very soon.
Olga Kurylenko (Antonia Dreykov)
As the daughter of the main villain of Black Widow, Antonia isn’t seen much – but is important. The woman is portrayed by Olga Kurylenko, an actress who has done a lot in Hollywood.
Along with being in plenty of international films, Kurylenko has had her fair share of films that you might have seen her in, including Hitman, Quantum of Solace (with David Harbour), Centurion, To the Wonder, Vampire Academy, The Death of Stalin, The Room, and The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. For a time, Olga Kurylenko also had a role in the drama, Magic City, and has done a couple of guest/recurring appearances on TV shows outside of that. It’s exciting to see her take on a superhero movie, even more so because it’s Marvel.
Kurylenko will next be seen in Empires of the Deep.
William Hurt (Thaddeus Ross)
I mean, I think we all have a love/hate relationship with Thaddeus Ross from Marvel, considering he’s one of reasons the Sokovian Accords even took place. Even so, he appears in Black Widow, played by the talented William Hurt, an actor who has been in the industry for decades.
Hurt has been in plenty of amazing films, such as Kiss of the Spider-Woman, where he won an Academy Award, followed by two other big films, Children of a Lesser God and Broadcast News, where he received two other nominations at the Academy Awards. But, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t done his fair share of films since then.
Some of his other roles have included portraying Professor Alien Hobby in Steven Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence, a role in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village as Edward Walker, Richie Cusack in A History of Violence, Walt McCandless in Into the Wild, Tom Tulley in The Last Full Measure, and so many others.
Hurt has also had some bigger roles in television as well, and starred in the miniseries, Damages, back in 2009, several television movies, and portrayed Donald Cooperman in Goliath, and Bob Partridge in Condor. He also had a guest spot on the Apple TV+ series, Mythic Quest. William Hurt is one skilled actor, and honestly, I can’t picture anyone else other than him playing Thaddeus Ross.
With an actor as talented as him, he has plenty coming up soon, including a new TV series called Pantheon and several films, so look for him soon.
Ray Winstone (Dreykov)
As the villain of the main story in Black Widow, let’s all just take a collective moment to agree we hate him so much. Good? Me too. But, Ray Winstone, the man behind the evil Red Room leader, does an excellent job at portraying him.
Ray Winstone has done a lot of movies, with several genres to his name. He was in the dramas Nil by Mouth and The War Zone, and the British/German film Last Orders. He played Mr. Beaver in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, was in Beowulf as the titular character, in the Martin Scorsese film The Departed as Arnold French, in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the animated film Rango, the epic biblical film Noah, in the musical Cats, and so many others. That is someone who has truly mastered so many genres – I can hardly keep track.
Winstone has also had plenty of experience in television as well, with a main role in the British television show, Robin of Sherwood, and most recently, a main role in the television series Ice. Dreykov was certainly an interesting villain – and Winstone performed the character to perfection. Currently, Winstone has a new film he's working on, titled Prizefighter: The Life of Jim Belcher, so keep an eye out for him soon in movie theaters.
Rachel Weisz (Melina Vostokoff)
As the last person on this list, no one can quite forget about the mother-figure for both Natasha and Yelena, Melina Vostokoff, portrayed by Rachel Weisz.
The actress has many, many credits to her name, just as several of her castmates. She starred in The Mummy franchise, playing Evelyn Carnahan. After that, she went on to star in several films, including Enemy at the Gates, About a Boy, Constantine, The Fountain, and The Lovely Bones. She won an Academy Award for her role in The Constant Gardener and received a second nomination when she portrayed Sarah Churchill in The Favourite.
Rachel Weisz has also had roles in The Bourne Legacy and Oz the Great and Powerful. With how much she’s done, it’s not a surprise that this talented actress took her skills into the superhero world. She has the recently announced dramedy, Love Child, coming next.