How Natasha & Yelena’s Fighting Styles Are Different


Black Widow star Florence Pugh explains how Yelena Belova and Natasha Romanoff have different fighting styles in the MCU Phase 4 movie.

Black Widow star Florence Pugh explains how Yelena Belova’s fighting style differs from Natasha Romanoff’s (Scarlett Johansson). Even though Black Widow died in Avengers: Endgame, she is set to headline a solo movie that was supposed to start Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The prequel film set after Captain America: Civil War will finally put Natasha at the center of a story and introduce new characters to the MCU.

One of the most anticipated new additions for Black Widow is Yelena Belova. In both the comics and the movie, Yelena is a fellow trainee of the Red Room, just like Natasha. While they were rivals in the comics, Black Widow is changing their relationship slightly by having them refer to each other as sisters following them posing as American family members during an undercover mission in the 1990s. When Yelena and Natasha are reunited in the present day, though, Yelena is more of her equal and an equally skilled spy.

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Related: Everything We Know About Black Widow

Yelena’s MCU debut might still be months away, but she has been featured prominently in the trailers. The footage has repeatedly showcased her in action, including a fight with Natasha. In a new interview with Florence Pugh included in Marvel’s Black Widow: The Official Movie Special Book, the young star discussed the different fighting styles of Yelena and Natasha. According to her, Yelena is all about efficiency with her fights, while Natasha is a bit of a performer.

When I was starting to learn how to do some of the stunts and they were still designing where they were going to go and how the fight scenes were going to go, we all pretty much, especially the stunt team, were thinking that Yelena is more of a “get the job done as quickly and as efficiently as possible” kind of girl. Or, and it’s a common theme that happens throughout the film, I just make fun of Natasha’s fighting stance, her fighting pose. I’m constantly throwing digs at her about how she does too much performance and not enough, well, getting the job done. So, everything about Yelena is feisty. It’s quick. It’s powerful. She’ll do the job now as opposed to making it pretty. That’s a character attribute that I’ve clung onto with her throughout the making of this film.

Florence Pugh Scarlett Johansson Black Widow


The quick and powerful fighting style of Yelena has only been glimpsed a few times in Black Widow‘s marketing, so we don’t yet have the full picture of how noticeable their differences will be. Thankfully, it sounds like Yelena will be quick to point out Natasha’s performing moments and show her how to get the job done even faster and without any theatrics. Some of these jabs could even be included in the apartment brawl between the two the trailers have continued to show. Plus, this should help establish Yelena as a formidable fighter before she becomes the new Black Widow.

In the long run, the decision by Marvel, the stunt team, and Pugh to give Yelena a different fighting style could be beneficial. Even though she is expected to take over the Black Widow mantle in the MCU’s future, Yelena isn’t a direct replacement for Natasha. They have different personalities, experiences, and now fighting styles. This should help keep Yelena’s MCU story and action scenes fresh. And if Yelena happens to receive some of Natasha’s weapons or accessories, these differences could allow them to be used in new ways.

MORE: Black Widow Theory: General Ross Is A Secret Hydra Agent

Source: Marvel’s Black Widow: The Official Movie Special Book

Key Release Dates

  • Black Widow (2021)Release date: May 07, 2021
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Jul 09, 2021
  • Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: Feb 11, 2022
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
  • Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
  • Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022

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Updated: November 7, 2020 — 9:09 pm

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