Because the character exhibits countless different skills, the actress needed "three of four" stand-ins.

By Andrea Towers
July 21, 2021 at 10:37 AM EDT
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Warning: Black Widow spoilers below.

Playing one of the most formidable antagonists in Black Widow didn't just require Olga Kurylenko to wear a suit that was, in her words, "very heavy and hot." It also demanded that the actress behind Taskmaster have multiple stunt doubles — something that was otherwise only needed for the movie's leads, Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh.

"Usually, I have one stunt double that dubs me, and in this case I had three or four," Kurylenko told the Associated Press in an interview. "There were so many people because Taskmaster is so complicated and has so many different skills, that more than one person can do them all."

In Black Widow, we see Taskmaster employ the powers of multiple superheroes including Captain America, Black Panther, Hawkeye, and, of course, Natasha/Black Widow herself. That means that underneath her armored mask lie various stunt people who are well versed in everything from archery and hand-to-hand combat to martial arts and aerial work, depending on the fight direction and the scene.

"They had to get different persons for each specific skill because there's just not one stuntman who can do all of those moves, which is extraordinary," Kurylenko explained. "She mirrors whoever is in front of her. That means there's nothing she can't do. Her power is limitless."

Black Widow
Olga Kurylenko as Taskmaster in 'Black Widow'
| Credit: Marvel Studios

In the comics, Taskmaster is a man known as Anthony "Tony" Masters, but in Black Widow, Kurylenko plays Antonia, the daughter of Dreykov (Ray Winstone), who runs the Red Room. When Natasha allegedly killed Dreykov on a mission to complete her defection to SHIELD some years ago, his young daughter was also in the building Natasha blew up. But as we (and Natasha) learn, she didn't kill Dreykov or Antonia. Instead, Dreykov saved his child by molding her into Taskmaster and brainwashing her with the same mind control he used on other Widows.

"There's no holds on that fight style," stunt coordinator Rob Inch told EW of the character's abilities. "There was no parameters — only our imagination."

Black Widow is currently playing in theaters and streaming on Disney+ as a paid Premier Access release.

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