A lot of Yelena and Kate’s dinner scene in Hawkeye Episode 5 was improvised by Florence Pugh and Hailee Steinfeld.
First, directors Bert and Bertie went for a general meeting at Marvel and that’s when they first heard about Hawkeye. They knew they wanted to get involved immediately.
Bert and Bertie always knew about Kate Bishop, but once they started pitching they dug deeper into the Matt Fraction and David Aja Hawkeye comics.
Bertie said seeing Hailee Steinfeld and Jeremy Renner’s dynamic as Kate and Clint was like “watching the comics come to life.”
The Hawkeye team tried to delay Florence Pugh’s arrival as long as possible, in order to keep fans on the edge of their seats, and it was important to introduce her with an epic fight sequence with Clint, Yelena, Kate, and Maya.
Also, Bert and Bertie loved how Yelena’s reveal comes with little dialogue and it all came down to the look she gives Kate.
Yelena and Kate’s iconic meeting over dinner in Episode 5 involved a lot of improvisation from Florence and Hailee, and Bert and Bertie simply set the cameras up and watched them have fun.
Florence Pugh was the one who came up with the hot sauce moment during Yelena and Kate’s dinner. In fact, Florence liking hot sauce and Hailee not is what sparked the idea for having Yelena eat it only after Kate’s finished.
In fact, Bert and Bertie kept checking with Florence to make sure she didn’t mind eating so much hot sauce take after take.
Also, Yelena insulting Kate’s one fork wasn’t in the original script. Florence came up with the idea on set and Hailee’s response was genuine.
The mac and cheese dinner scene between Yelena and Kate also emphasized something important for Hawkeye, which is the ability to have real emotional and human moments through only dialogue.
Florence helped pick out Yelena’s two outfits in Episode 5, for example she suggested Yelena wear the big fur coat while trailing Eleanor.
And at first, Yelena was going to wear the fur coat while visiting Kate’s apartment, but Florence wanted to “look like an f-ing pirate” and have a different vibe during that scene.
Episode 5 ends with the huge reveal that Eleanor is working with Kingpin, which re-introduces Vincent D’Onofrio into the MCU. In order to keep his appearance a secret, Vincent and his stunt doubles had to hide under cloaks while arriving on set.
Also, the Hawkeye team went through several different versions of the Kingpin reveal before they settled on what we saw in Episode 5.
Bert and Bertie wanted Yelena’s Blip moment to feel like the audience was experiencing it with her, so they decided on long, continuous shots.
The Hawkeye team actually built the bathroom Yelena is in when she’s blipped, and they really redecorated it after she returns.
Yelena’s Blip moment was filmed over the course of a few days, so the camera crew had to remember exactly what movements they did on day one, so everything would match.
Clint’s emotional journey in dealing with Natasha’s death was very important in Episodes 3, 4, and 5, and in post-production Bert and Bertie helped come up with where those moments would make the biggest impact for fans.
Bert and Bertie studied Natasha’s death on Vormir from Avengers: Endgame and recreated it shot-for-shot during the moment when Kate falls off the roof in Episode 4.
And Kate falling off the roof is one of the most important scenes in Hawkeye because it is meant to be a wake-up call for Clint and how he could potentially lose another partner.
Linda Cardellini helped push for a big Laura Barton storyline, and she worked a lot with Marvel and the Hawkeye team to make it happen.
The car chase in Episode 3 was inspired by Matt Fraction and David Aja’s comic, but also ’70s and ’80s car chases. That’s why Kate and Clint drive in an old Chrysler New Yorker.
And for the car chase, it was important for it to feel like you were right in the car alongside Kate and Clint while they try to fight the Tracksuit Mafia.
While filming the toy store fight in Episode 3, Jeremy Renner was the person who came up with Clint swimming/hiding in the ball pit.
Bertie’s two favorite moments to film for Hawkeye were the car chase scene in Episode 3 and Yelena and Kate’s dinner in Episode 5.
Bertie’s favorite Easter egg in Hawkeye is when Kate and Clint hold an arrow together at the end of Episode 5. In fact, this was another moment they came up with on the spot.
And Bert’s favorite Easter egg is Clint drinking out of the “Thanos was right” mug.
Clint’s moment at the Avengers memorial where he talks to Natasha was one of the first scenes Bert and Bertie filmed for Hawkeye.
And finally, Bert and Bertie said it’s exciting to see how much fans want a Hawkeye Season 2, but they “can’t say anything.”
Hawkeye is currently streaming on Disney+.