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YEL HATH NO FURY Black Widow director hails 'unstoppable' team of Florence Pugh and Scarlett Johansson

Florence Pugh's Yelena makes the perfect wingwoman for the Black Widow

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ACTION HERO: Florence Pugh makes her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut with her role as Yelena in Black Widow

ACTION HERO: Florence Pugh makes her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut with her role as Yelena in Black Widow

ACTION HERO: Florence Pugh makes her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut with her role as Yelena in Black Widow

She's the best sparring partner Scarlett Johansson could have hoped for - the feisty and colourful fellow warrior who is Marvel's latest superstar.

But as far as movie fans are concerned, English actress Florence Pugh has been on the A-list radar for some time. Her big breakthrough came in 2017's Lady Macbeth, in which she played a woman in a loveless marriage who embarks on a passionate affair. And her next major role will be shot on these shores.

Pugh has been mixing it up and making a strong impression in TV series The Little Drummer Girl, opposite Saoirse Ronan in Little Women, and in the gritty horror thriller Midsommar.

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Scarlett Johansson with Florence Pugh who plays Yelena Belova

Scarlett Johansson with Florence Pugh who plays Yelena Belova

Scarlett Johansson with Florence Pugh who plays Yelena Belova

In real life, the actress is in a long-term relationship with Scrubs star Zach Braff. Regardless of the age gap, the 25-year-old Pugh and Braff (46) have become extremely close since they started dating two years ago. She recently paid tribute to the actor on a post for his birthday along with a photo of him cuddling their dog, Billie.

"His need to make people laugh and smile is never ending, his constant generosity and love for others is infectious, his creativity and ability to put real and honest words onto the page inspires many and all who's around him, but above all.. his appreciation for life and excitement for LIVING is something I always take note of," she wrote on Instagram.

In Black Widow, Pugh has a strong onscreen chemistry with Johansson as Yelena, another former assassin for the KGB with whom she once shared a sisterly relationship. They know each other's weak points to tease, which both stars have a lot of fun with.

But there is an emotional bond between them too, and the challenge was to get the balance right, says director Cate Shortland.

"I knew that the film had to be fun," she tells. "I love spectacle. I wanted Natasha to take off. I wanted people to watch this character fly - to watch her transcend."

Shortland was keen to work with the actress having seen her in Lady Macbeth. "She and Scarlett as a team are unstoppable. It was beautiful to see them together."

"Yelena is the perfect counterpart to Natasha," adds screenwriter Eric Pearson.

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"While Natasha is withdrawn, Yelena has achieved a level of emotional freedom. She's outgoing, assertive and blunt, it throws Natasha off kilter and brings out more of her personality."

The in-demand star's next major movie will be shot right her in Ireland. Pugh has signed up to play the lead role in thriller The Wonder.

Based on the novel by Emma Donoghue, the movie is set in the 1800s. She plays an English nurse who comes to Ireland and witnesses a young girl live for months without food.

The movie has been snapped up by Netflix with filming locations and dates yet to be announced.

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