Every week, The Friendship Files features a conversation between The Atlantic’s Julie Beck and two or more friends, exploring the history and significance of their relationship.
This week she talks with three women who cosplay as Natasha Romanova, a.k.a. Black Widow, a Russian spy turned superhero and a member of the Avengers, played by Scarlett Johansson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The friends found one another by posting pictures of their costumes on Instagram, and though they’ve never met in person, they’ve traded tips for replicating Johansson’s outfits from the movies and supported one another after their favorite character’s tragic death in the final Avengers film. They plan to meet later this year at a convention—and do a photo shoot, naturally.
Katrina Chapman, 30, a fitness instructor and stay-at-home mom who lives in Las Vegas
Stephanie Crets, 31, an editor for an e-commerce publication who lives in Chicago
Andrea Towers, 37, an associate editor at Nerdist who lives in New York City
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Julie Beck: How did you all get into cosplay? And why Black Widow?
Andrea Towers: Back in 2013 and 2014 I did a few costumes, but they were just like, “I’m going to throw this together for a [convention].” At the time I didn’t really have the support system. I had a lot of friends who were into the same things I liked, but I didn’t know anyone who actually did cosplay. It wasn’t until earlier this year that I decided I wanted to pursue it more seriously. I got super emotional when I realized that Avengers: Endgame was going to be the end [of the story] for a lot of [Marvel movie] characters. Since then, my poor credit card has seen so many terrible purchases.