'Hawkeye' Directors Bert & Bertie Dissect the Black Widow Reveal in Episode 4

Knowing they'd been trusted with half of the Hawkeye series on Disney+, directing duo Bert & Bertie spent months planning how to make the most of their opportunity.

This included shooting an impressive one-take car chase, as seen in Episode 3 "Echoes" and implementing a fan-pleasing cameo in Episode 4 "Partners, Am I Right?" The pair direct Episodes 3,4 and 5 before Rhys Thomas returns to direct the finale in Episode 6.

The pair, whose real names are Amber Templemore-Finlayson and Katie Ellwood, sat down with Newsweek to discuss some of the biggest moments from their time directing Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld in Hawkeye.

The Yelena Belova reveal

Fans knew the cameo was coming, but Episode 4 finally introduced Florence Pugh as Natasha Romanoff's sister-figure Yelena Belova, another Black Widow assassin.

Yelena was introduced as a masked figure fighting Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) and Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) until eventually she takes off her mask in the final moments. Bert tells Newsweek the delay was intentional, "We didn't want Clint to see who's behind the mask, and actually you don't because he gets the 'Widow Bite' on his neck" -- the widow bite was a red electric shock, similar to Natasha's weaponry.

Hawkeye Yelena Belova
Florence Pugh reprised her role as Yelena Belova in Episode 4 of "Hawkeye." Marvel Studios / Disney+

On the timing of the reveal, Bert continued, "It's so subtle, and I think it was Hitchcock that said, make them laugh, make them cry, but make them wait. So we thought we'd make people wait. But also because Clint's figuring out who it is, Kate's figuring out who it is, so we shouldn't know who it is either."

Bishop family interrogation scene

The Bishop family scene showcased Steinfeld and Renner's comedic abilities and the hilarious dynamic they've developed in just four episodes.

In a sit down with Kate's mom and stepdad-to-be Jack, Clint and Kate are grilled about the nature of their relationship and what their plan is.

Hawkeye Kate and Clint
Kate (Hailee Steinfeld) and Clint (Jeremy Renner) are starting to develop a dynamic in "Hawkeye" on Disney+. Chuck Zlotnick/Disney+

"The script was great for that scene but they're dynamic, they've been rolling with it for a while by that point. So our choice was to just shoot them in a two shot." said Bertie.

She continued, "We had to cut into it but there was some tapes where it's like its own theater piece. Like you could put these two onstage and they would be lightning and you would just be in stitches. So they really find the timing and everything's perfect."

The one-shot car chase

Bert and Bertie announced themselves as part of the Hawkeye series by putting together the impressive and memorable one-shot car chase scene in Episode 3, their first as directors.

After months of planning and preparation for the practicalities of the scene, the end result was an action packed six and a half minutes filled with stunts, dialogue and Marvel Easter Eggs. There's also an uninterrupted minute of car chasing which is scored by a Christmas-sounding orchestra.

Bert and Bertie shared a behind-the-scenes image on Instagram of the car they used, showing how stunt drivers were in control while Renner and Steinfeld were inside. Bert explained why they felt it was important to use practical effects rather than CGI. "The tone of the show really is keeping the show grounded and human," she said, "So anything that we did, we felt as much as possible, and with that car chase specifically, was to do it for real.

"Doing it practically, Marvel got behind it built and that incredible rig. Then all of those stunts happening around them is them hitting markers so that the camera captures it. So it was a dance. It was an absolute dance and choreography that paid off, fortunately."

Hawkeye car chase
Bert & Bertie directed Episode 3 of "Hawkeye" which featured a memorable and ambitious car chase sequence. Disney+

Bert continued "It [the scene] had men with guns and cars kind of ramming into them, and it had everything you ever wanted to do in a car chase."

With a number of queues to hit and stunts to execute, it's all the more impressive that Bert and Bertie got their shot within just five takes.

Bertie thinks that the minor mistakes and near-misses caught on camera make the scene all the more memorable. She said: "Practically you get the imperfections that you maybe wouldn't do if you were doing this in as blue screen studio where everything is a little too precise.

"Whereas it's the imperfections and it's the almost missing of some things that actually make it feel really special," Bertie concluded.

Episode 5 of Hawkeye, Bert and Bertie's last as directors, airs on Disney+ on Wednesday December 15, 2022.