|Born||3 January 1996|
|Partner(s)||Zach Braff (2019–present)|
|Family||Toby Sebastian (brother)|
Florence Pugh[a] (// PEW; born 3 January 1996) is an English actress. She made her professional debut in the mystery film The Falling (2014), and gained recognition for her leading role as an unhappily married woman in the independent drama Lady Macbeth (2016). Her performance in the latter won her the BIFA Award for Best Actress. She also drew critical praise for her leading role in the miniseries The Little Drummer Girl (2018).
Pugh's international breakthrough came in 2019 with her portrayals of wrestler Paige in the biographical sports film Fighting with My Family, the emotionally troubled Dani Ardor in the horror film Midsommar, and Amy March in the period film Little Women. For the latter, she received nominations for an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress. Pugh was awarded the Trophée Chopard at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.
Florence Pugh was born on 3 January 1996 in Oxford. The daughter of restaurateur Clinton Pugh and dancer and dance teacher Deborah Pugh, she has three siblings: actor and musician Toby Sebastian, actress Arabella Gibbins, and Rafaela "Raffie" Pugh. She suffered from tracheomalacia as a child and was frequently hospitalised. When she was three, the family relocated to Sotogrande in Spain, hoping the warmer weather would improve her health. They lived there until she was six years old, at which point they moved back to Oxford. Pugh's love of accents and comedy was first displayed at age six when she played Mary in a school nativity play, giving Mary a Yorkshire accent. She was privately educated at Wychwood School and St Edward's School, but disliked how the schools did not support her acting ambitions.
2014–2018: Early roles
While still in school, Pugh made her professional acting debut in the mystery drama The Falling (2014), in which she played a precocious teenager opposite Maisie Williams. Tara Brady of The Irish Times called her "remarkable" and Mike McCahill of The Daily Telegraph stated she conveyed her character's "teen-queen bearing with the vulnerability of one still unsure of her own body". In the same year, Pugh was nominated for Best British Newcomer at the BFI London Film Festival and for Best Young British/Irish performer by the London Film Critics' Circle.
Pugh made her American television debut in the Fox's pilot Studio City, co-starring Eric McCormack, in 2015. The following year, she starred in the independent drama Lady Macbeth and had a recurring role as a webcam model in the first season of the ITV detective series Marcella. In the former, based on the novella Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District by Nikolai Leskov, she played a young woman unhappily married to a much older man. Reviewing the film for Variety, Guy Lodge called Pugh "a major talent to watch" and commended her portrayal of her character's "complex, under-the-skin transformation". For her performance, she won the BIFA Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a British Independent Film, among others.
In 2018, Pugh made a small appearance in the action film The Commuter and played Cordelia to Anthony Hopkins' Leir of Britain in Richard Eyre's television film King Lear. Later that year, she portrayed Elizabeth de Burgh in the Netflix historical film Outlaw King (2018), co-starring Chris Pine as Robert the Bruce. Charles Bramesco of The Guardian found her to be "excellent despite her thankless role". She next starred in a six-part miniseries adaptation of John le Carré's spy novel The Little Drummer Girl, in which she played an actress in the 1970s who becomes embroiled in an espionage plot. While divided on the series overall, Richard Lawson of Vanity Fair credited Pugh for being "terrific throughout, once again asserting her star-on-the-rise status" and added that she "smartly mixes earthiness with sophistication, wisdom with naïveté." She also appeared alongside Emilia Clarke, Tom Hiddleston and Gemma Chan in the short film Leading Lady Parts in support of the Time's Up initiative.
2019–present: Breakthrough and critical recognition
Pugh was included on Forbes' annual 30 Under 30 list, which recognises the 30 most influential people in Europe under age 30, in 2019. She was also recognised as having a breakthrough in the same year, during which she starred in three major films. She first starred as professional wrestler Paige in Fighting with My Family, a comedy-drama about Paige's relationship with her family, co-starring Lena Headey and Dwayne Johnson. The film premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival to positive reviews. Geoffrey Macnab of The Independent noted how different the role was from Pugh's previous work and credited her for being "completely convincing as the wrestler", adding that she showed "the same defiance, scruffy glamour and self-deprecating humour as the real life [...] Paige." At the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, she was awarded the Trophée Chopard, which is given by a jury of professionals to young actors to recognise and encourage their careers. Pugh next headlined Ari Aster's horror film Midsommar, which chronicles a troubled couple who encounter Swedish cultists. Writing for Vulture, David Edelstein commended her "amazingly vivid" performance and found her face in the film to be "so wide and open that she seems to have nowhere to hide her emotions."
In her final film release of 2019, Pugh played Amy March, a headstrong artist, in Greta Gerwig's adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's novel Little Women. The cast rehearsed the script for two weeks before filming began, but Pugh was unable to participate as she was filming Midsommar at that point. She believed this helped create distance between her and the co-stars playing her sisters, which proved conducive to her character's personality. Highlighting her performance, David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter wrote that "Pugh [...] continues to prove herself a distinctive talent, managing all the tricky contradictions of [her] role with disarming grace, humor and a willful streak that grows almost imperceptibly into wisdom." The film received critical acclaim and grossed over $216 million against its $40 million budget. Pugh earned nominations for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role and the Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance.
Pugh will next star opposite Scarlett Johansson in the superhero film Black Widow as Yelena Belova, a spy, and will reprise the role in the Disney+ series Hawkeye. She will also star opposite Harry Styles in Don't Worry Darling, a thriller set in 1950s California, directed by Olivia Wilde.
Since April 2019, Pugh has been in a relationship with American actor and filmmaker Zach Braff. Braff directed her in his 2019 short film In the Time it Takes to Get There. They reside in Los Angeles.
In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Pugh partook in Acting for a Cause for a live reading of Kenneth Lonergan's play This Is Our Youth to help raise funds for nonprofit charities, including Mount Sinai Medical Center.
|Denotes productions that have not yet been released|
|2014||The Falling||Abbie Mortimer|
|2015||Paradise Lost?||Eve||Short film|
|2016||Lady Macbeth||Katherine Lester|
|Outlaw King||Elizabeth de Burgh|
|Leading Lady Parts||Herself||Short film|
|2019||Fighting with My Family||Saraya "Paige" Knight|
|In the Time it Takes to Get There||Lucille||Short film|
|Little Women||Amy March|
|2020||Father of the Bride Part 3(ish)||Megan Banks||Short film|
|2021||Black Widow||Yelena Belova / Black Widow||Post-production|
|Don't Worry Darling||Alice||Post-production|
|2015||Studio City||Cat||Unaired pilot|
|2016||Marcella||Cara Thomas||3 episodes|
|2018||King Lear||Cordelia||Television film|
|The Little Drummer Girl||Charmian "Charlie" Ross||Miniseries|
|2020||Acting for a Cause||Jessica Goldman||Episode: "This is Our Youth"|
|2021||Hawkeye||Yelena Belova / Black Widow||Upcoming series; filming|
Awards and nominations
Pugh has received nominations for an Academy Award, two British Academy Film Awards, and two Critics' Choice Movie Awards. She won the British Independent Film Award for Best Actress for her performance in Lady Macbeth (2016). For her role in Midsommar (2019), she was nominated for the Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Actress. For her performance in Little Women (2019), she received nominations for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
- Records show her name to be Florence Rose C. M. Pugh; the second and third middle names are not currently known to the public.
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Positive reviews helped, but even in these more sophisticated locations this found an initial strong response.
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