Florence Pugh talks about what it feels like on a set when a film ‘falls apart’

Florence Pugh covers this week’s issue of Time Magazine. Time is doing their best to make it sound like Pugh gave a juicy tell-all interview, but she really did not. For someone who has been in the eye of the gossip hurricane for the better part of two years, Pugh is remarkably discreet. The names “Olivia Wilde” and “Harry Styles” never pass through her lips. When she’s asked about Don’t Worry Darling directly, she shrugs off the question. She’s done that pretty much the whole time and it’s won her a lot of fans within the industry – it would be easy for her to spill all and “get her side out” – but the bigger power play was watching everyone take her side and seeing Olivia implode. Pugh is currently promoting Dune: Part Two and Oppenheimer. Some highlights from her Time cover story:

Her entire image is messy by design. She posts as many photos of sprouting zits as red carpets. Followers might assume this is a bid for relatability. But she’s trying to maintain control of her image in a tabloid landscape that glorifies actors’ movie-premiere glamour one day and mocks their bad hair day the next. “I would never show one side of me because that’s setting myself up to fail. I don’t want anyone to make money catching me out being me. I want to give them all of me.”

She filmed the WWE film Fighting With My Family after industry people told her to lose weight: “The person I came back to was a female wrestler with muscles and big thighs who made her own name as a champion. I quite liked that because the last time I’d been there I was told I needed to lose weight—it was just so not the person I wanted to be.”

The characters she plays: “Even if they’re not defined on the page, I always find some way to make them quite confrontational. I never see the bad in them—even when they have killed children and burned boyfriends. I’ve always understood them as people that needed to do what they had to do to survive.”

Whether she’s ever thought, while on set, that a movie was simply falling apart? “Definitely. A whole film set, it’s everybody making a huge effort because they want to be there. And if someone doesn’t want to be there or if someone isn’t pulling their weight, you can feel it. The film feels wrong.” I start to press for specifics and she—exceedingly politely—moves on to a related topic.

Moving between indie projects & franchise films: “So many people in the indie film world were really pissed off at me. They were like, ‘Great, now she’s gone forever.’ And I’m like, no, I’m working as hard as I used to work. I’ve always done back-to-back movies. It’s just people are watching them now. You just have to be a bit more organized with your schedule.”

[From Time]

“And if someone doesn’t want to be there or if someone isn’t pulling their weight, you can feel it. The film feels wrong.” Could it be the same film in which the director nonsensically told everyone was about female pleasure when really it was about some creepy cult inside a forced hallucination? Could it be the same film where the director was reportedly creeping off set to try to bone Harry Styles and leaving her assistant director to film chunks of the movie? Yeah. Anyway, I don’t really follow Pugh’s comings and goings on social media, but it feels like she’s being groomed for a certain kind of “new stardom,” and at some point, I could see studios telling her to ease up on her “realness” online. We’ll see though.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, cover courtesy of Time.

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15 Responses to “Florence Pugh talks about what it feels like on a set when a film ‘falls apart’”

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  1. Josephine says:

    These articles (meaning the Time article, not this one) always bother me because what goes up must come down. We seem especially eager to tear down women. Jennifer Lawrence had this kind of attention, too, and people delighted in tearing her up. In the end they are just people doing a job and over-hyping anyone sets them up imo. I’m also done with the Olivia Wilde hate – let’s move on and hope she’ll come out a better human at some point.

    • It Really Is You, Not Me says:

      This. They’re told to do as much press as possible and then they are destroyed for being overexposed.

  2. Jezz says:

    She’s cool. I love her.

    • VoominVava says:

      Me too. She is beautiful, real, charming and talented. She seems like a great person for her generation to look up to. I hope the attention doesn’t come back to haunt her. But if it does, I feel like she’d handle it well. I think Jennifer Lawrence has handled it beautifully without changing who she is.

  3. Katie Beanstalk says:

    Don’t worry darling was too busy. I left the cinema in a daze.

    • Roan Inish says:

      I haven’t seen enough of her work to decide if I think she’s a great actress. I do respect her independence and choices. Love that she posts photos of herself without makeup so the tabs can’t publish ‘gotcha’ photos of her caught looking unglamorous.

      The cover photo is rather unglamorous and I’m guessing it was her choice?

  4. Kirsten says:

    I love her. She always is really great in on-camera interviews too. There’s one in particular where she tries a bunch of different classic British foods and it’s so charming.

    • Dutch says:

      Her Hot Ones episode was a real hoot. She’s got an incredible palate (not a surprise after you find out her father is a restauranteur).

  5. DaisyMay says:

    I love her. So exhausted by the Hollywood look. The Brits have much more natural-looking actors and it’s great to see someone succeed in the US without being forced into the cookie cutter. I saw a bit of Selena Gomez in Only Murders in the Building (not my thing) but she was barely recognizable. Her cute nose was changed and they’d had her lose a ton of weight. These demands are unhealthy for women’s self-esteem as none of these female actors were born the way they look in American movies. And they all look the same in a way. Kudos to Pugh for resisting. I love her.

    • dj says:

      Agreed. I. am always surprised a little when I see so many British TV shows or movies and see how “realistic” actors look. Hollywood tries to homogenise women in particular. We do NOT all look alike, have the same nose (except the Kardashians), boobs and no wrinkles or perfect everything else. It’s wonderful that we are all unique. IMO its because of the patriarchy of Hollywood men in charge. Hopefully, if we get more women behind the camera and green lighting productions we will allow more diversity and inclusion.

  6. The Recluse says:

    I became of fan watching her performance in Black Widow. She brought so much real emotion to her part.

  7. Isabella says:

    She is an actor not a leader of her generation. But I quite like her.

  8. Anna says:

    Can she please just shut up and move on, do her job? I can’t believe how she keeps backstabbing Olivia – would she have done the same with a male director? Doubtful.

    • Lemons says:

      The interviewer asked her a question. She answered w/o giving specifics, and you chose to make it about Olivia. That’s on you.

      It sounds like she is doing her job quite well. Maybe you’ll find the time to check her out in Dune 2, in theaters soon.