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April 3, 2023   Belle   Article, Florence

Florence Pugh has opened up about the demanding nature of one of her best-known roles.

The Academy Award nominee and A Good Person actress previously starred as Dani, the lead character of Ari Aster’s 2019 horror film Midsommar. During her recent guest appearance on the Off Menu podcast with Ed Gamble and James Acaster, the actress spoke on the lengths she went to while filming the trippy psychological thriller.

“There were so many places that I had to go to,” she continued. “I’d never played someone that was in that much pain before, and I would put myself in really shit situations that maybe other actors don’t need to do, but I would just be imagining the worst things.”

Pugh continued that she put herself in a painful mental state while portraying a grieving American psychology student who psychologically breaks down when she joins her toxic boyfriend on a trip to a midsummer festival.

“Each day the content would be getting more weird and harder to do,” she said. “I was putting things in my head that were getting worse and more bleak. I think by the end I probably, most definitely abused my own self in order to get that performance.”

After she wrapped shooting on the horror film, Pugh flew to Boston begin filming Little Women, for which she received an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress. There were three days remaining on the Midsommar shoot after she left, and the actress recalled looking down at the rest of her cast filming from the plane and being filled with “immense guilt” about leaving the character.

“I felt like I’d left her there in that field, in that state, and it was so weird. I’ve never had that before. I’ve always thought all my characters, once I left like, ‘They’ll be fine,'” the Don’t Worry Darling star said. “She can’t fend for herself, almost like I’d created this person, and then I just left her when I had to go do another movie.”

She added, “I created such a sad person, and then felt guilty that I’d created that person and then left her.”

In Harper’s BAZAAR’s September 2022 cover story, Pugh reminisced on her film roles so far, noting that she often plays women facing emotional challenges.

“I guess all of my movies have that element of women being forced into a corner, forced into an opinion, forced into a way of life. And then finally, something cracks,” she said, adding, “I love playing a distressed woman.”


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