29 Hawkeye Behind The Scenes Facts

A lot of Yelena and Kate’s dinner scene in Hawkeye Episode 5 was improvised by Florence Pugh and Hailee Steinfeld.

BuzzFeed / Theo Wargo / Getty Images / Disney

There are obviously massive spoilers ahead for Hawkeye!



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.

Chuck Zlotnick / Disney / Marvel

“We went in for a general meeting and we were like, ‘So, Trinh Tran [who is an executive producer], what are you working on at the moment?’ And she said, ‘Oh, it’s Hawkeye. It’s a show that introduces Kate Bishop,” Bertie recalled. “We were sold from that moment. They were already getting to the end of pitches, but we just wanted to be involved in that pitch process. So, we didn’t have much time, but we didn’t care. So we rallied together our thoughts and ideas, and we pitched our little hearts out, and got the call that they liked it.”


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.

Mary Cybulski / Marvel / Disney

Bert said, “We had an awareness of Kate Bishop, but not specifically the Matt Fraction comics that the show focused on. So, we dove into that and we loved the relationship between Kate and Clint. It was so unusual. That’s when we knew we had to do it.”



Bertie said seeing Hailee Steinfeld and Jeremy Renner’s dynamic as Kate and Clint was like “watching the comics come to life.”

Marvel / Disney+

She continued, saying, “I think the show has got this really unique banter between them that not even the comics had. There was an almost more chill Kate Bishop in the comics, whereas this Kate Bishop is such a fangirl and goofy, and getting it wrong but being badass at the same time. She’s so endearing from the get go. We were inspired visually and tonally by the Fraction comics, but Hailee and Jeremy just had their own unique thing.”


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.

Marvel / Disney+

“Obviously, it was like, how long can we delay the reveal of Yelena?” Bert recalled. “That was very important to us. You know this is a Widow, but the big reveal that it’s Yelena is so satisfying. We loved having such an amazing woman kick Jeremy — I mean, Clint’s — ass. So that was really fun because they are each dangerous in their own way. Yelena and Maya match his ability, so it was fun to see that four way fight.”



Also, Bert and Bertie loved how Yelena’s reveal comes with little dialogue and it all came down to the look she gives Kate.

Marvel / Disney+

Bert said, “Doing it in such a simple dialogue-free way was perfect, it’s all done with just a look. When she looks at Kate Bishop, she’s challenging her not to do what she’s about to do. Then, jumping off a building and disappearing down the street. I think we should all leave rooms as cool as Yelena.”


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.

Marvel / Disney+

“We did a rehearsal, but every single thing was just perfect between them, and the improvisation that they brought to it was dynamite. We could just sit back at the monitors and just enjoy every single take and their chemistry,” Bertie said. “It was a really fun day.”


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.


Marvel / Disney+

“There was obviously a script and it was planned, and we knew we wanted Kate to kind of turn and throw something at Yelena. At first, we were just looking around the set and there was one of those lucky cats from Chinatown. So, it was going to be that at one point, but then there was this hot sauce bottle, and we loved that,” Bertie said. “Then, Florence was like, ‘Oh, well, this hot sauce now needs to go all over the mac and cheese.’ Florence is hugely into hot sauce, but Hailee not so much. So, the whole thing where Yelena basically says, ‘Are you done? Can I go crazy?’ That was not planned.”


In fact, Bert and Bertie kept checking with Florence to make sure she didn’t mind eating so much hot sauce take after take.

Marvel / Disney+

Bertie continued, saying, “As an actor, you have to know you’re up for many takes, and we kept wondering how much hot sauce could Florence take? She went there for real. At one point, we were like, ‘Are you sure you’re good?’ And Florence was like, ‘I’m in. I am in it. Don’t you worry.'”


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.

Marvel / Disney+

“When they were rehearsing, Florence was like, ‘I’ll need to get some implements. So, we’ll go over here.’ She picked it up and just went, ‘There’s one fork! There’s only one fork!’ So, that’s where that dialogue came from,” Bertie explained. “The props people were searching around for other forks, but they only had plastic ones, so it became the one proper cutlery fork and one plastic fork. It was perfect and it all went into the script and we came out with this hilarious Yelena and Kate scene. Florence and Hailee are just so relaxed with each other that Hailee could come out with the, ‘I’m one person,’ line as response to Florence running with the cutlery joke. It was funny, but also very Kate.”



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.

Marvel / Disney+

Bertie said, “What’s amazing about that scene is it’s really long, but it has everything. It has this comedy, it has this underlying tension the whole time, and then really real, deep emotion. Just to have a scene that takes you through all of those emotions was so special.” And Bert explained that having such great actors makes these types of scenes work perfectly and you can see it with the mac and cheese scene, Clint and Kate in the diner, and Kate and Eleanor talking in her room.


Florence helped pick out Yelena’s two outfits in Episode 5, for example she suggested Yelena wear the big fur coat while trailing Eleanor.

Marvel / Disney+

“Florence suggested the fur coat for Yelena,” Bertie revealed. “She was like, ‘I’m gonna wear a fur coat. This is just what Yelena is gonna wear.’ Suddenly Yelena’s incognito outfit became a fur coat with an ‘I love New York’ shirt. It worked though because Yelena just needs to turn her head a little bit to not be seen. It’s all that Widow training, they’ve got some Jedi mind tricks going on.”


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.

Marvel / Disney+

Bertie continued, saying, “Originally, we wanted the fur coat outfit for the mac and cheese scene, and, these are Florence’s words, she was like, ‘No, I want to look like an f-ing pirate when I walk into that apartment.’ So she had that long coat on instead.”


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.

Netflix / Marvel

Bert explained, “The thing about Vincent is he and his doubles would arrive under cloaks because no one could see them. We were filming some things in public places and we had to get them to set. We realized the scale of how important it was to keep it a secret, so we would smuggle them in under black cloaks. Vincent and his doubles too because once you see his double, you would know it’s Kingpin. It was really fun to see how we keep the secrecy in this Marvel world.”


Also, the Hawkeye team went through several different versions of the Kingpin reveal before they settled on what we saw in Episode 5.

Marvel / Disney+

“It was always going to be big, and there were a few iterations of how the Kingpin reveal was going to happen,” Bertie said. “So, it was a real pleasure to be part of that.”


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.

Marvel / Disney+

“We wanted to film it in a way that felt continuous so that you were there and experiencing it with Yelena,” Bert said. “For us, we always knew that was going to be incredibly exciting for fans, but we wanted to do it in a way that we hadn’t seen it done before. So hopefully, like when we put people in the car during the Episode 3 car chase, this feels the same way. We wanted audiences to experience the Blip on a real human level.”


The Hawkeye team actually built the bathroom Yelena is in when she’s blipped, and they really redecorated it after she returns.

Marvel / Disney+

Bertie said, “We actually had to build that bathroom set in this incredible mansion because we needed to come straight out of that living room into the bathroom, which didn’t actually exist there, and then straight back out again to reveal how the living room and world changed.” Meanwhile, Bert said they actually made big changes in the mansion following the Blip. She explained, “We actually redecorated the bathroom for real. The transition to get from one moment to the other was done in post-production, but the green walls are real and everything that changed was real in the bathroom and the living room changes too. We always say it’s a grounded story, so that keeps it human as well. It’s tactile, it actually exists.”


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.

Marvel / Disney+

“The last thing that we filmed on that day one in the beautiful house was Yelena entering that bathroom and turning the tap on, and the camera kind of tilts down,” Bertie began. “Then, we had to go away and just remember what we’ve done. The camera operator had to implant that moment in his brain. Then we came back the next day and he did the end of the Blip camera move. It was very technical to figure out where the camera operator was going to be so Florence could then get out of the bathroom. It was lots of fun and we love that stuff. We love figuring out the technicals. You come up with the pie-in-the-sky idea and then it’s getting down and dirty to figure how to do it best.”


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.

Marvel / Disney+

“Emotionally, it was there on the page,” Bert began. “It really helps the audience connect where we’ve been in the universe when you get these moments of reflection from Yelena and Clint. As a fan, you want to see that stuff again. It stitches the world together. So, it just expanded the world as we know it, but narratively, it was on the page, the emotion was on the page, and then you decide where to include it in post.”


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.

Marvel / Disney+

Bertie said, “We just looked back at that Endgame scene. We looked at how this rooftop in New York was kind of like that epic cliff on Vormir. In terms of the shots, we could replicate the shots that are done. You have a wide shot from the side that shows Kate hanging there, you have the shot looking up at Clint, even with his hand over the edge, like in Endgame. You also have this close-up on Kate, just like Natasha. The only difference is Kate is not saying ‘It’s okay,’ she’s saying, ‘Pull me up.’ There’s the slow motion of it all too and we did everything that we could do to echo the Clint and Natasha moment. And, of course, the music was there to add an extra kick of emotion for MCU fans around the world.”


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.

Marvel / Disney+

Bertie explained, “Aside from the Yelena reveal, probably the most important reason for that fight, on a story level, was to have Kate go off the roof and remind Clint of the fragility of life and remind him of Natasha, the other partner he had in his career, and how he was scared to let someone else in and go there. That was the big moment that Kevin [Feige] and Trinh [Tran] were pushing for.”


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.

Marvel / Disney+

“Her character grew beyond what she’s been able to do before, in terms of what they gave Laura. So, hats off to Marvel for recognizing Linda’s talent and recognizing that a woman doesn’t just have to be at home with the kids. She’s got more to contribute than that,” Bert said. “Marvel worked with Linda and the team to give Laura Barton more. It made us very happy to be part of that and it opened her character to be more important to not only Clint Barton, but also the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”


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.

Marvel / Disney+

“The Fraction comics felt like they were harking back to something from the ’70s and ’80s. So we looked at those kinds of car chases from those periods and used those as inspiration, hence the type of car that we chose,” Bert said. “Not only as a story point — we aren’t gonna beat up that old, beautiful Dodger — but also the Chrysler New Yorker is a very wide car so it gives you more of a panorama. It’s a boat of a car. That brought an interesting aesthetic to the car chase, which made it feel different too.”


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.

Marvel / Disney+

“The minute you have a car chase at the heart of the story you’re telling, we needed the camera inside of the car and figuring out how to make it interesting and experience it with them,” Bert explained. “That was the essence of the beginning of the car chase. Then, the minute Kate goes out the window, of course, we should go out the window with her because it’s to experience being this incredible archer.”


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.

Marvel / Disney+

“I remember, we were over filming by the shelving units one day. We were moving our way around the toy store filming and suddenly we heard this crash. Everyone stopped and looked, and the next thing Jeremy Renner popped out of the ball pit with this big grin on his face, like a six year old, and then he dove back in again,” Bert recalled. “We had to go and talk about that and find a way to include it for Clint.”


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.

Marvel / Disney+

She explained, “For absolute director geekiness, it has to be a oner in the car chase in Episode 3. But, for humor and intimacy and badass women, it’s the Yelena and Kate mac and cheese scene.”


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.

Marvel / Disney+

“There was originally a whole dialogue scene planned. We were losing light and we didn’t have enough time to film the dialogue properly,” she recalled. The light was dying, we had New York, we had the sunset, and we just told them to walk away from camera. As they were doing it, we remembered that frame from the Fraction comic where they are both holding the arrow. So, we ran up and I was trying to get this arrow out of Kate’s pack and Hailee was like, ‘What are you doing?’ and Jeremy was like, ‘Just go with it.’ They did it and that ended up being one of my favorite little moments.”


And Bert’s favorite Easter egg is Clint drinking out of the “Thanos was right” mug.

Marvel / Disney+

“It’s so dark on so many levels, but I think true fans who have been there since then just understand it. It’s one of the darkest moments, but also one of the funniest,” she said.


Clint’s moment at the Avengers memorial where he talks to Natasha was one of the first scenes Bert and Bertie filmed for Hawkeye.

Marvel / Disney+

Bertie explained, “We had had a day or two of filming and we’d been filming some of Episode 3 and the more conversational banter stuff. Then, Jeremy had to put himself all the way to the end of this journey and the end of that emotional decision to revisit Ronin. It’s a very touching goodbye and it’s amazing to watch an actor of Jeremy’s caliber be able to switch up his tone and absolutely go there.”


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.”

Marvel / Disney

“It’s exciting to hear fans clamoring for a Season 2,” Bertie said. “We can’t say anything. I think that’s when you know you’re doing something right and that people are really satisfied. They’ve been around for this rollercoaster and they want more. More Kate, more Yelena, more everything. It’s the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so these stories continue, right?”

Hawkeye is currently streaming on Disney+.


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