Ray Winstone Calls Making 'Black Widow' 'Soul-Destroying,' Says It Was 'Like Being Kicked in the Balls'

Winstone played Russian general villain Dreykov opposite Scarlett Johansson.

Karwai Tang / WireImage

Ray Winstone won't be returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe anytime soon.

The 67-year-old actor recalled the arduous process of starring in the 2021 film Black Widow, in which he played Russian general villain Dreykov opposite Scarlett Johansson. According to Winstone, the film's reshoots are where the production became muddled.

"It was fine until you have to do the reshoots," he told Radio Times. "Then you find out that a few producers have come down, and your performance is too much, it’s too strong… That’s the way Marvel works. It can be soul-destroying because you feel like you’re doing great work."

Winstone then shared that he was prepared to drop the Cate Shortland-directed project from his extensive filmography. "I actually said, 'You ought to recast it because that was it for me,'" he admitted. "And you end up doing it again because you’re contracted to do it. Otherwise you end up in court. It’s like being kicked in the balls."

Winstone is far from the only MCU actor who grew frustrated with working in undesirable conditions. Anthony Hopkins, Mickey Rourke, and Terrance Howard are a few who've also expressed their disappointment with the entertainment property.

Last year, Marvel VFX artists unionized with IATSE (the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees), citing poor management, stressful working conditions and unfair pay, per Variety.

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