Although the new Disney+ show Hawkeye obviously centers around Clint Barton (aka Ronin, aka Hawkeye), the Avenger played by actor Jeremy Renner, many fans will agree that it is actresses Hailee Steinfeld and Florence Pugh who have stolen the show’s limelight. True Grit actress Hailee Steinfeld plays Kate Bishop, an archer who admires Hawkeye and strives to follow in his footsteps. English actress Florence Pugh plays Yelena Belova, the sister of Black Widow Natasha Romanoff (who had been played by Scarlett Johansson) and the Russian assassin bent on killing Clint for revenge.
There are several comedic, moving, or thrilling plot twists in this Disney+ Marvel series and its first season, (including a tracksuit mafia, Kate’s mother Eleanor Bishop, New York sights, the enemy Maya Lopez played by Alaqua Cox, and some catchy tunes from the new Captain America and Steve Rogers musical) — but many Marvel fans paid more attention to one particular scene, which has become known as ‘the mac and cheese scene’. In the scene (which is in Hawkeye episode five), Yelena breaks into Kate’s apartment and somewhat forcibly eats macaroni and cheese with her (with hot sauce added). Even though the scene ends on a tense note as Yelena threatens Clint and warns Kate away, most of the scene has the same comedic levity that Marvel Studios fans have come to expect from Yelena.
The Russian assassin cracks jokes and takes over the space during dinner, despite Kate Bishop’s trepidation, making it all the more impressive when she switches back to threatening Kate. Directors Bert and Bertie, who directed three episodes of the show, recently spoke to D23 on the D23 Inside Disney podcast and revealed a bit more about the iconic scene.
Hailee herself called the scene “a really interesting scene and one of my favorites in the show”. “I was just so excited,” she told Hollywood Reporter. “Once I got over my excitement and the idea of working with Florence and having this moment between Kate and Yelena, we dug into this scene, which felt very fun, and the banter was amazing. It’s this ‘girls’ night in’, essentially, over some mac and cheese with hot sauce, and you realize that there’s a lot of depth to this scene, to these characters individually and now to the connection that they have with each other”.
Bert and Bertie said on the podcast that the scene was meant to be “semi-emotional, dark and funny”, and they added that “there was just so much joy that those two actors kept throwing into the mix.” Fans also noticed that it was “the first time we see Yelena with her hair down, not looking like she’s about to go into battle.” This was apparently a “deliberate choice” on the Marvel show; “because she doesn’t feel like she’s in the middle of an action mission at that point, you do get to see her dress a little bit down”.
“That scene amongst us all was always described as the ‘girls’ night in’; it’s become the ‘mac-and-cheese scene’ that seals the deal for most of the fans out there but it’s the girls’ night in,” the duo remarked. “Yelena has come to Kate’s place…and she’s gonna have fun having a girly chat along the way because this is a woman who’s grown up around the other Widows”. The directors also acknowledged that, for Yelena, “there is this feeling of being more comfortable in the company of women”.
Are you a fan of the camaraderie between Kate Bishop and Yelena Belova, and have you been following the careers of Hailee Steinfeld and Florence Pugh? Oscar nominee Hailee is best known for True Grit (2010), Dickinson (2019-2021), and the Pitch Perfect series. Florence is best known for Little Women (2019), and although her character is a new addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, many Marvel fans have already taken to the character!