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Scarlett Johansson hates playing “damsels in distress.” The Hollywood beauty – who portrays Natasha Romanoff and her alter-ego, sexy Russian spy Black Widow, in new superhero movie “Iron Man 2” – doesn’t enjoy playing weak female characters, preferring roles which challenge her. She is quoted as saying, “Well obviously I don’t do the damsel in distress very well. The essence of this character is that she throws a punch like it’s going to go through you. For me that was an exciting challenge.”

Scarlett – who also starred in action movie “The Spirit,” which is based on a comic book series, insists she really enjoyed the physical aspects involved in her “Iron Man 2” role. She added, “I’ve never done anything like that before – especially the physical side of the stunt work. I’d never been able to challenge myself in that way so that was exciting – something new. And it used up aggression too!”

Scarlett previously admitted she loved “kicking a*s” on the set of “Iron Man 2,” which is based on the Marvel comics of the same name. The 24-year-old star said, “I kick some major a*s! Whose a*s do I kick? Well, you’re just going to have to wait and see. You don’t really want to know, do you?”

“Iron Man 2” – which also stars Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow and Mickey Rourke – is due for release in May next year.