Meet Heidi Moneymaker, The Stunt Woman Behind “Black Widow”
When you think of Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), one of the first things that come to mind is how gloriously grounded and beautifully performed her fight sequences are. Natasha/Black has mastered several martial arts (aikido, judo, karate, etc.), she’s a highly skilled gymnast, and she marries to her technical precision a level of confidence and fearlessness that make even the toughest bad guys flinch. In real life, one woman makes many of the moves we see Black Widow pull off on screen possible, and her name is Heidi Moneymaker. In a new video, go behind-the-scenes on the set of Black Widow and see just how crucial Moneymaker is to the success of any given action scene involving Johansson. Considering Johansson is the star of the film, Moneymaker’s just about everywhere.
Moneymaker has been Johansson’s stunt double since the very beginning (that’s Iron Man 2 in MCU terms) and is a big reason why Natasha Romanoff’s fight sequences are some of the most athletic and acrobatic of any Avenger. While fellow Avengers like Iron Man or the Falcon often dispatch bad guys with major firepower while flying overhead, and Hulk, well, smashes stuff and bad guys alike, when Natasha fights it’s often as balletic as it is brutal. You can thank Moneymaker’s many years as a national champion gymnast. (Her sister Renae is also a highly sought-after stunt double and has worked with Brie Larson and Evangeline Lilly on Captain Marvel and Ant-Man and the Wasp respectively). When you watch Natasha take on Taskmaster in Black Widow, you’ll often be seeing Moneymaker at work, the precision of her stunt choreography a perfect match for the highly trained Black Widow, one embodied with such soul for a decade by Johansson.
Check out the video below. Black Widow hits theaters and Disney+ Premiere Access on July 9.
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Featured image: L-r: Taskmaster and Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) in Marvel Studios’ BLACK WIDOW. Courtesy Marvel Studios.