Florence Pugh has explained her predilection for intense roles. The actor first rose to prominence thanks to a strong 2019 that included a starring role in Ari Aster’s horror film Midsommar. That year also saw her play Amy March in Little Women, a role that earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
Variety had the opportunity to speak with Pugh at the premiere of her new movie A Good Person. She explained that the reason she decided to tackle the film, which features another intense role dealing with grief, is the fact that she likes to dig deep and find “the ugliness in humans.” Not only is this far from the first role where she’s been in tears during nearly every scene, she says that she has never taken a role “unless I’ve been scared of it.” Read her full quote below:
It’s no secret that I only pick very intense roles. This isn’t the first time I’ve been reduced to tears pretty much every single scene that I’ve been in. I like finding the ugliness in humans. I love being raw. I love being given a script where it challenges myself and I have never picked a role unless I’ve been scared of it. And this is someone that knew me, knew my potential and wanted to work with me. I think it would have been strange if [A Good Person writer-director Zach Braff] wrote a Nancy Meyers thing for me to be like, “So… you’re not going to cry in this movie.” I’d be like, “Oh God!”
Florence Pugh Has Been Intense From the Beginning
While many actors dabble with quite a few genres early on in their careers, Pugh has steered away from comedy almost entirely. Midsommar, which features her dealing with intense grief over the death of her family while also navigating a dying relationship and a deadly cult, seems to have set the road map for the roles that were offered to her afterward. This includes the lead role in Don’t Worry Darling, where she plays a suburban housewife with intense paranoia that not everything is as it seems.
However, Pugh was going for the gold even before Midsommar made her intensity more well known. The role that first brought the English actress international attention was 2016’s Lady Macbeth, where she played a young woman named Katherine who marries a rich older man. The film follows her becoming a full-fledged antihero while exploring an affair with one of the groundskeepers.
Even the more overtly comic films that feature Florence Pugh have some element of intensity. This even includes her Marvel Cinematic Universe role as Yelena in Black Widow. Although her standout character has some of the film’s standout humorous moments, they are driven by her character’s intensity and trauma as she deals with feeling abandoned by the only family she ever knew.
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