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The Unique Way Scarlett Johansson And Florence Pugh Broke The Ice On Black Widow

The first reactions for Marvel's "Black Widow" are already in, and Florence Pugh's name is on everyone's lips, earning plenty of praise for her performance. Known for her roles in "Little Woman" and "Midsommar," Pugh is a newcomer to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where she is teamed up with one of the franchise's longest-running characters, Natasha Romanoff, played by Scarlett Johansson.

Johansson's Black Widow has been in the MCU since the early days. She made her first appearance in "Iron Man 2," but was officially introduced as the badass spy in "Avengers." In her first solo movie, "Black Widow," Natasha confronts her past, taking her back to Russia and her family. Pugh plays Yelena Belova, a younger assassin who graduated from the same Soviet program called "The Red Room" and who's something of a younger sister to Natasha.

Their relationship is at the heart of "Black Widow," so naturally, the actors have had to spend a lot of time with each other while being pushed to their absolute limits. The trailers show them sharing a drink, catching up, bickering in a high-speed car chase, and beating each other up in a kitchen — typical sibling stuff. Here's how they broke the ice on set.

Florence Pugh and Scarlett Johansson beat each other up in their first scene together

While Yelena isn't a villain to Natasha, the "Black Widow" trailers have revealed that the two sisters have a lot of baggage to overcome when Nat returns to Russia; there seems to be some lingering resentment over Natasha leaving Yelena. They have a knock-down-drag-out fight for a reunion in a Budapest safe house, but it isn't a halfhearted slap fest.

Luckily for Florence Pugh, this was the very first scene she shot for "Black Widow." "Literally on my first day, I was throwing Scarlett up against a wall and she was smashing my face in the sink," Pugh said at a presser that Looper attended. She added that there was "no greater way to break the ice than really wrestling Scarlett Johansson to the floor."

Johansson described the fight as a power struggle full of emotion, with both affection and frustration fueling their punches, but also like "two lion cubs going at it." She praised Pugh for her athletic ability and enthusiasm for the fight choreography. "It was such a unique way to bond with another actor," Johansson said. "But it also felt like a very safe way to do it."

Although this is probably Johansson's last hurrah in the MCU, considering — spoilers — Natasha doesn't survive "Avengers: Endgame," Pugh is here to stay. She's set to appear in this fall's Disney+ series, "Hawkeye," alongside Natasha's longtime friend, Clint Barton aka Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). He'll also be training another young hero, Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld).

"Black Widow" will premiere in theaters on July 9.