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Taskmaster actor talks dark past with Natasha and whether the character could return after Black Widow

Taskmaster and Natasha Romanoff in Black Widow
(Image credit: Disney/Marvel)

Spoiler alert: The following contains major spoilers for Black Widow! Turn back now if you haven't seen the first Marvel Phase 4 movie in theaters or on Disney Plus Premier Access!

Black Widow was a long time coming thanks to a series of pandemic-induced delays, which means we've been on tenterhooks for over a year, yearning to find out just who is inside Taskmaster's mysterious, terrifying armor. The character is able to perfectly mimic anyone's fighting style, which makes them a formidable foe for Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) from their first battle. 

Turns out that the hero and the villain have a dark past together: the masked figure is actually Olga Kurylenko's Antonia, the daughter of Red Room boss Dreykov (Ray Winstone). Natasha believed she had killed Antonia while trying to take out Dreykov, and is stunned to discover both that they survived, and that Taskmaster is actually the girl she'd accepted as collateral damage. 

"I think it's important, and it's closer to reality and how things go in life," Kurylenko tells GamesRadar+ of the dark history between Antonia and Natasha. "And also more believable. I think it makes both of the characters more interesting. Because no one is a straightforward goodie or straightforward baddie, and therefore good people, even when they try to do something good, they just make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes, even the superhero makes mistakes. And it makes [Natasha] more complex. It's not just all perfect. It'll be boring, right?

"And [Natasha] has all those feelings and remorse obviously about – she thinks she killed the girl. She doesn't seem to feel good about it. But for her, it's done. And then obviously later when she realizes the damage and what actually was created following that mistake, in a way she is implicated in this creation of this villain. In a way. She of course didn't decide to make her the Taskmaster. She didn't decide to make Antonia a weapon of war. But that decision was made following the accident that Natasha provoked."

As for whether Antonia could return, Kurylenko is reluctant to say too much: "I don't know, that's a question to Marvel. They have to decide." But, if asked, Kurylenko would absolutely return for a Disney Plus spinoff focused on her character. "Of course I would, of course," she says. 

Marvel Studios' Black Widow is in theaters and on Disney Plus with Premier Access now. If you're all caught up, check out our guide to watching Marvel movies in order for the ultimate movie marathon – and find the best Disney Plus prices and deals.

I'm an experienced online writer with articles published on film, TV, and pop culture. I am currently working at GamesRadar+ as a freelance Entertainment Reporter. I previously worked on the Disney team and freelanced on CBeebies magazine with Immediate Media.