Scarlett Johansson has told how she is "forever wounded" as she nurses ongoing injuries as a result of her action movie roles.
The 29-year-old actress has slipped back into a slinky catsuit to reprise her role as Natasha Romanoff and her superhero alter-ego, Black Widow, for a third time in her latest Marvel caper Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
And ahead of the London premiere, Scarlett admitted she has been suffering bumps and bruises since starring as the spy for the first time in 2010's Iron Man 2.
She said: "I am forever wounded from these movies. I have old injuries from Iron Man 2 and I keep re-injuring them. That's part of the joy and part of the process, I guess.
At a London press conference she said that despite the risks, she prefers to do as much of her own stuntwork as possible, and enjoys comparing the "battle wounds" with her male co-stars, who include Chris Evans, Anthony Mackie and Samuel L Jackson.
"As you sustain more injuries over time, it hurts for longer and things like that, but I guess I like to do as much of the stuntwork as possible and you take a little bit of a risk with that," she explained.
"I'd rather that than to hand off my scenes to the stunt team. As amazing as they are all the time, I'd rather do some of it and have some battle wounds. That way, I can compare bruises."
The Bafta-winning actress revealed that fans will get more insight into Natasha's background in The Avengers sequel, Age Of Ultron.
"You'll get more of Black Widow's back story in Avengers 2," she teased.
"I think she has a rich past. She definitely comes from a really dark past. I think she's had to desensitise and dehumanise to be able to do some of the things that she's seen and participated in willingly. She's now grappling with the fact that she may be experiencing some trauma from that...and it's just hitting her now that she's been acting as a gun for hire."
Scarlett said she would like to explore more of her alter-ego's history: "I would like to discover the progression of that story and bring her back home and see where that leads to. Of course, that's all in my imaginary next instalment - we have thrown that around a little bit but none of that is in the works right now."
:: Captain America: The Winter Soldier opens in cinemas on March 26.