NEWS

Why Florence Pugh Almost Missed Out On Her Film Career

Florence Pugh in a pink dress at the BAFTA film awards

By Elyse Johnson |

Florence Pugh in a pink dress at the BAFTA film awards

(Getty Images)

English actress Florence Pugh has become one of Hollywood’s most exciting stars. Pugh has been featured in projects ranging from the wrestling flick Fighting With My Family to the acclaimed horror film Midsommar. Needless to say, she’s shown off her versatility and talent. The actress, however, almost missed her chance to be on the big screen.

Pugh first gained buzz when she starred in Lady MacBeth, followed by her lead role in Midsommar. The actress also received acclaim for her portrayal of Amy March in Little Women, which led to her being nominated for her first Oscar. Pugh’s career originally started when she came to Hollywood at the age of 17 and was cast in a sitcom opposite Eric McCormack and Heather Graham. In a unique twist of fate, things didn’t turn out the way she thought it would.

Florence Pugh went from the small screen to the Oscars

“It was mega news,” Pugh told the Guardian in 2018. “I was going to be doing a TV series with Hollywood stars, probably for a good half of my life. It was where I wanted to be at some point in my career and I was there on my second job.” If the show’s pilot had been successful, it would’ve prevented her from taking the roles that thrust her into fame.

Pugh also revealed that when she got the part, studio executives wanted her to change her appearance for the role and lose weight. “There was a kind of, ‘OK, so, you’ve got the part, but this is what we need from you, and this will happen straight away,’” Pugh explained.

“What I’ve noticed about Hollywood is, if you go out there shouting about who you are, they will love you for it,” the actress said. “But if you go out not knowing what it is that you’re representing, and you are just a canvas, they will make you into the thing they need you to be.”

The actress realized that she wanted a different type of career

Even though the show didn’t pan out, the actress was so uncomfortable with the experience that she’d “sworn off” Hollywood until she found roles she’d be comfortable playing. Two months later, she auditioned for Lady MacBeth and landed the role, earning her a fair amount of praise. “I swore I would never go back [to LA] until I knew what it was I was representing. After Lady Macbeth, I was applauded for having normal bum cheeks, so I was like, ‘OK, this is my shout. I’m obviously this,” she said.

Pugh’s next project will be Black Widow. She’ll portray Yelena Belova, a sister-like spy to Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow. Both Pugh and Johansson are competing in the Best Supporting Actress category at this year’s Academy Awards.