Scarlett Johansson has praised Joss Whedon for making the Black Widow more than just a "simple ornament".
The actress said her superhero alter-ego - a role she will reprise in upcoming Marvel sequels Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, is much more rounded than other female superhero characters.
"The majority of the superhero movies have not been very good. They were simply not made well. They were [about] spinning through the air and putting your hands on your hips," she told Refinery 29.
"With the Black Widow we do something more, although of course the physicality and her image is important. To me, this character has given me a great opportunity. Joss has jumped the fence with Avengers to celebrate a female character that is not a simple ornament inside the group. He's not interested in just selling her physical attractiveness."
Scarlett, who next stars in Jonathan Glazer's Under The Skin and Joseph Gordon-Levitt's directorial debut Don Jon, relished playing the feisty spy.
"I love it. I think it is a sensational character. It is a professional, highly skilled, dangerous, mysterious superhero," she said.
"I think that it is rare to find a woman sexy and intelligent on the big screen, able to fight anyone (including men) and overcome them physically and emotionally, and my character does it."
The 28-year-old admitted that her skin tight outfit poses a challenge though.
"It is a big commitment. When you wear it you are well aware that with latex, you leave no doubt," she revealed.
"My physical preparation with the costume was painful. Until you get used to it, everything hurts and is horrible. Once you learn the choreography you really feel like a superhero, but until you get to that point it's exhausting."