Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans, name a better duo. The two actors and real-life friends have crossed paths on-screen in quite a few films over the years. And something undeniable during all of that screen time is the fact that Johansson and Evans share a chemistry that’s palpable. Most notably, Johansson and Evans starred in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow and Steve Rogers/Captain America respectively. But their roles in movies together and their friendship goes back at least a decade.
So much so that some fans have pondered why Johansson and Evans never took their friendship and work relationship up another level into romantic territory. While a past acting credit did show Evans and Johansson on-screen romantically (shout out to Nanny Diaries), the lovey-dovey eyes never made the leap off-screen or to their other roles.
In the MCU, particularly in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, fans unfamiliar with Evans’ and Johansson’s bond were in for a treat as they viewed a spark ignite to a flame before their very eyes.
Johansson recently touched on the secret ingredient to her and Evans’ chemistry on-screen, and it has everything to do with their history as friends. The actress, who is currently doing promo for her upcoming standalone MCU prequel, Black Widow stopped by Entertainment Weekly to talk about her superhero character.
In a video for the publication, the starlet broke down a decade of Black Widow by discussing her best scenes over the years. One of them was the car scene from the 2014 Captain America sequel, The Winter Soldier.
The scene in question featured Johansson and Evans in a car as Romanoff and Rogers respectively. Rogers asked that Romanoff take her feet down from the dashboard of the car. “Who do you want me to be?” her character could be heard asking. “How about a friend?” Evans’ Rogers counters. “You might be in the wrong business, Rogers,” Johansson’s Romanoff chides in her signature quick wit.
“It’s really a result of 10 years of knowing somebody and being able to have a kind of intimacy with them that I think you get from just spending a lot of time with somebody and knowing their soft underbelly,” she said of the moment. “We had a lot of fun doing it.”
Simple yet inarguably felt. The exchange might be brief but it’s indicative of how the energy between the two actors can feel so charged, even in a matter of minutes. In the past, Johansson has praised the MCU for being a catalyst that allowed her and Evans to work together in a more dramatic pretense.
She said, “It’s nice for Chris and I to get to do dramatic work together. We work well together, I think, and admire one another as actors, and we’re used to being able to throw the ball back and forth because we’ve done that in the past in other films that we’ve done. We’re also older actors now and more comfortable taking our time. You can wait for the emotion to come and let the moment happen.”
Johansson and Evans have known each other for about 16 years and met each other as co-stars in the 2004 MTV Films heist movie The Perfect Score. They starred as two of six high school students working together to steal the answers to SAT tests in order to score “the perfect score”.
The two friends reunited on-screen for the second time in 2007 for Nanny Diaries, where unlike The Perfect Score, they actually shared screentime because they played a couple in the film. In a past interview with Access Hollywood, Johansson revealed jokingly, “Any excuse to get close to Chris Evans is delightful… At this point, we’re old and jaded, so it’s like, ‘Bring him on!’ No big deal. Pop in the Tic-Tacs. Get the cameras rolling.”