Florence Rose Pugh is an English actress. She made her acting debut in 2014 in the drama film The Falling. Pugh gained recognition in 2016 for her leading role as a young bride in the independent drama Lady Macbeth, winning a British Independent Film Award. After starring in the 2018 television film King Lear, she drew praise for her leading role in the miniseries The Little Drummer Girl and earned a nomination for the BAFTA Rising Star Award that year.
Pugh’s international breakthrough came in 2019 with her portrayals of professional wrestler Paige in the biographical sports film Fighting with My Family, a despondent American woman in the horror film Midsommar, and Amy March in the period drama Little Women. For the last of these, she received nominations for an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award. Pugh was awarded the Trophée Chopard at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. In 2021, she starred as Yelena Belova in the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero film Black Widow with Scarlett Johansson and the Disney+ miniseries Hawkeye. She has since starred in the thriller Don’t Worry Darling and the drama The Wonder (both 2022).
Years active: 2014–present
Born age: 3 January 1996, 27 years old and 4 months, Oxford, England
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Hair Color: Blonde
Eye Color: Green
Height: 5 ft 3¾ in | 1.62 m
Measurements: 33-24-34 in | 84-61-86.5 cm
Bra size: 33B US / 70B
Florence Pugh Uses Her Nipples As A Fashion Accessory
Mother: Deborah Mackin
Father: Clinton Pugh
Toby Sebastian (brother)
Arabella Gibbins (sibling)
Rafaela Pugh (sibling)
Florence Pugh was born on 3 January 1996 in Oxford to dancer Deborah and restaurateur Clinton Pugh. She has three siblings: actor and musician Toby Sebastian, actress Arabella Gibbins, and Rafaela “Raffie” Pugh. She suffered from tracheomalacia as a child, which led to frequent hospitalisations. The family relocated to Sotogrande in Spain when Pugh was three years old, hoping the warmer weather would improve her health. They lived there until she was six, when they moved back to Oxford. Also at six years old, Pugh played Mary in a school nativity play, for which she spoke in a Yorkshire accent. She was privately educated at Wychwood School and St Edward’s School, Oxford, but disliked how the schools did not support her acting ambitions.
Early roles (2014–2018)
While still studying in sixth form, Pugh made her professional acting debut in the 2014 drama The Falling, playing a precocious teenager opposite Maisie Williams. Tara Brady of The Irish Times deemed Pugh “remarkable”, while IndieWire‘s Oliver Lyttelton called her “striking”. In the same year, the actress was nominated for Best British Newcomer at the BFI London Film Festival as well as for Young British / Irish Performer of the Year by the London Film Critics’ Circle. She was cast to portray a singer-songwriter in the dramedy pilot Studio City, co-starring Eric McCormack as the character’s father, the following year. The pilot was not picked up to series. Pugh would later characterise her experience on Studio City negatively due to pressures to change her appearance.
In 2016, Pugh starred in the independent drama Lady Macbeth, a film based on the novella Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District by Nikolai Leskov, and appeared in the first series of the ITV detective series Marcella. In the former, she played Katherine, an unhappily married bride who grows violent. Pugh attributed her attraction to the part to her partiality for characters with “confusing or at least interesting” motivations. The role earned the actress acclaim. She also credited the production with reviving her interest in cinema after being dispirited by Studio City. Reviewing the film for Variety, Guy Lodge commended her portrayal of the character’s “complex, under-the-skin transformation”. She won the BIFA Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a British Independent Film for the role.
In 2018, Pugh garnered a nomination for the BAFTA Rising Star Award at the 71st British Academy Film Awards. She then played Cordelia to Anthony Hopkins‘ titular King Lear in Richard Eyre‘s television film King Lear and appeared in the short film Leading Lady Parts in support of the Time’s Up initiative. Later that year, Pugh portrayed Elizabeth de Burgh in the Netflix historical film Outlaw King, 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 who becomes embroiled in an espionage plot in the 1970s. Her performance was met with praise. While divided on the series overall, Richard Lawson of Vanity Fair credited Pugh for being “terrific throughout” and added that she “smartly mixes earthiness with sophistication, wisdom with naïveté.”
Breakthrough and critical recognition (2019–present)
Pugh starred in three major films in 2019, during which she was recognised as having experienced an international breakthrough. She first played professional wrestler Paige in Fighting with My Family, a comedy-drama about Paige’s career. The film premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival to positive reviews. Geoffrey Macnab of The Independent credited the actress 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”. Pugh next headlined Ari Aster‘s horror film Midsommar, which chronicles an American couple, played by her and Jack Reynor, who travel to Sweden and encounter a cult. Critics complimented Pugh’s portrayal of the desolate Dani Ardor, with David Edelstein of Vulture describing it as “amazingly vivid”.
In her final film release of the year, Pugh starred in Little Women, a period drama film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott‘s novel of the same name directed by Greta Gerwig. She portrayed Amy March, a fickle artist, from age 12 into adulthood, and has said that the character is in a “sweet spot of not knowing how to deal with her emotions”. The film received critical acclaim and grossed $209 million. In his review, David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter praised the “disarming grace, humor and a willful streak that grows almost imperceptibly into wisdom” with which Pugh managed the “tricky contradictions” of the part. Pugh earned nominations for the BAFTA and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance.
Pugh portrayed Yelena Belova, a spy, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero film Black Widow. She described the film as being about “girls who are stolen from around the world”. Released in 2021, the film garnered positive reviews from critics, who highlighted the actress’s distinctive performance. Caryn James of BBC Culture credited Pugh for making Belova “the most vibrant person in the film, more lived-in than most action-movie characters”. She reprised the role in the Disney+ series Hawkeye later in the year.
In 2022, Pugh starred in the thriller Don’t Worry Darling, directed by Olivia Wilde, and the drama The Wonder, an adaptation of Emma Donoghue‘s namesake novel. While filming the former, she allegedly clashed with Wilde, causing her to limit the amount of promotion she did for the film. Don’t Worry Darling premiered at the 79th Venice International Film Festival, where critics deemed Pugh’s performance superior to the film. In The Wonder, she played a nurse in 1862 who is sent to investigate an alleged supernatural miracle. Kevin Maher of The Times found Pugh’s “impossibly vivid and convincing” performance to be the film’s prime asset. In her final release of the year, she voiced Goldilocks in the DreamWorks animated film Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, which earned over $400 million worldwide.
Pugh will produce and star in Zach Braff‘s drama film A Good Person. She will portray Communist Party USA member Jean Tatlock in Christopher Nolan‘s biopic Oppenheimer, starring Cillian Murphy in the titular role. Pugh will also play Princess Irulan in Dune: Part Two, a sequel to the 2021 science fiction film. The three films are scheduled for releases in 2023.
Pugh has been nominated for an Academy Award as well as two BAFTA Awards. She garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress and a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, both for her work in Little Women, as well as a BAFTA Rising Star Award nomination. Her performances in Lady Macbeth and The Wonder respectively earned her a British Independent Film Award win and another nomination. She was nominated for a Gotham Award in the Best Actress category for her role in Midsommar. At the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, Pugh was awarded the Trophée Chopard, which is given by a jury of professionals to young actors to recognise and encourage their careers.
Public image and personal life
From 2013 to 2016, Pugh performed cover songs under the name Flossie Rose on YouTube. Pugh was featured on her brother’s song “Midnight”, released on 15 May 2021. In 2020, she partook in the series Acting for a Cause for a live reading of Kenneth Lonergan‘s play This Is Our Youth to help raise funds for the Entertainment Industry Foundation, a nonprofit organisation, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pugh was included on the entertainment category of Forbes magazine’s annual 30 Under 30 list, which recognises the 30 most influential people in Europe under the age of 30, in 2019. Time magazine placed her on the artists category of its 100 Next list, which highlights rising stars and emerging leaders in their fields, in 2021. In a 2022 readers’ poll by Empire magazine, she was voted one of the 50 greatest actors of all time. Terming her “one of the very best of her generation”, the magazine attributed her success to bringing “a grounded empathy to her characters”.
From 2019 to 2022, Pugh was in a relationship with American actor and filmmaker Zach Braff. The two met while working together on the short film In the Time It Takes to Get There, which Braff directed, and lived together in Los Angeles.
Sister of Arabella Gibbins, Toby Sebastian and Rafaela Pugh.
Sings, writes her own songs and plays the guitar and piano.
Grew up in Oxford and had always known she wanted to perform.
Her audition for Abigail in The Falling (2014) was her first professional audition.
Daughter of Deborah, a dance teacher and dancer, and Clinton Pugh, a restaurateur who runs The Grand Cafe, Kazbar and the Cafe Coco chain.
Her surname is pronounced “pew”.
Her first middle name is Rose (her nickname is Flossie Rose), but her second and third middle names which start with C and M are still unknown.
Sister of Toby Sebastian.
At six years old she played Mary in a school Nativity play.
Loves the condiment Branston Pickle.
Was unable to participate in the two-week-long rehearsal of Little Women (2019), as she was filming Midsommar (2019). She said that the sudden transition from “Midsommar” to “Little Women” was very therapeutic, and has also stated that this helped create distance between her and her co-stars that played her sisters.
Other actresses, including her Little Women (2019) co-star Saoirse Ronan, were considered for the role of Yelena Belova in Black Widow (2021). However, after Florence received positive reviews for her portrayal in Fighting with My Family (2019), Marvel returned to her for the role.
Her biggest influences are Jodie Foster, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Scarlett Johansson, Meryl Streep, Dwayne Johnson, Emma Thompson, Natalie Portman, Saoirse Ronan, and Keanu Reeves.
Suffered from tracheomalacia as a kid, and got a tube in her trachea that helps her to breathe properly. This resulted in her having a unique, raspy voice.
As an actress, it’s very interesting to make the audience love you while you are doing horrendous things.
I really take my hat off to anybody that steps in the ring because it’s so hard – you’re competing against your friends, and you’re working in front of an audience who tells you exactly what they’re thinking.
I like a role where some of the character’s motivations are confusing or at least interesting.
There’s always going to be pressure, and there’s always going to be an area where you disappoint. As a storyteller, you have to understand that.
It’s always shocking when you see a modern woman in a period story line. It doesn’t make sense.
I used to reenact ‘Titanic’ all the time.
Playing Paige, I felt I had to train to wrestle.
I’ve tried not to get too bogged down by what people want you to be.
Wearing a corset is extremely uncomfortable.
Every time ‘Lady Macbeth’ and everyone involved in the film gets nominated, it’s amazing.
I don’t think I’m going to be an international sex symbol. I mean, I know I’m not going to be an international sex symbol.
Why aren’t there these epic roles for women, for whatever age you are?
Someone asked if I wanted to be the first female Bond, and I was saying that I don’t think we necessarily need that whole conversation.
The one thing that I always try and take with me, if there’s, like, a remake, or you’re doing something again, is that every generation has a new story to tell.
I love all of Kate Winslet’s characters. And Natalie Portman. If I can have a smidgen of what they’ve done, that would be awesome.
There was one moment when I was in L.A., and he was teaching me a move. I just looked at him, thinking, ‘Oh my God, I’m being taught to wrestle by Dwayne Johnson. What the hell?’
I know that my way of tackling a character is very different.
‘The Falling’ was a big, flashy, bizarre experience. I kept on saying at the time it was a fluke because I did the audition, and I didn’t think anything would come of it.
I got a really good insight into the world of wrestling.
That, for me, actually is the most important thing about doing a period film is trying to make these people as lovable as they are back then.
What’s important is to listen before you react.
‘The Silence of the Lambs’ is my favourite book, favourite film.
The fact that I’ve been nominated for a BAFTA is insane.
You are hugely responsible for people following you. You need to work out why you are posting, what the message is, and what you are doing to these people.
I was acting with all my childhood heroes: Meryl Streep, Saoirse Ronan, all of those amazing women.
I don’t want to feel like I have to change myself or my image.
With ‘Lady Macbeth,’ I had two other things offered to me, and they would have also been very fun, but you just have to figure that out. And then you do it.
If people are noticing the hard work I’m doing, then that’s a wonderful thing.
When you’re given a platform, and you’re allowed to perform, and someone’s there to heighten you as opposed to dampen you, that’s a nice feeling.
I wrestled at the Staples Centre at ‘Monday Night Raw’ when I was 21 years old.
I played Mary at the age of seven in my first nativity play, and I loved it – there is something so fascinating about embodying someone else.
If you look at it, the corset is a very beautiful item, but when I put one on, I realized how little you could actually move. And I’m a very physical person: I talk with my hands. And I felt how the clothes took that away from me. And that was the idea, I think. It was a way of limiting women.
I think there’s always some good reason to try and modernize most period things, because at the end of the day, they may have, I suppose, used a different language or a different etiquette, but ultimately, these are still people that loved and breathed and lived and ate and weed and pooed just like we do now.
For me, it’s always been so obvious that the less we can edit our lives and more we show how normal we all are, the better.
The Kate Winslet thing has been a shocker. I was like, that is the most ridiculous claim. Amazing, obviously. She’s been my idol since I re-enacted ‘Titanic’ and fell in love with Leo. And it’s a privilege to be called the next anything. But I suppose to be the next you is all you can do.
I have learned how to wrestle. You end up battered and blue – but so happy.
If I can make my mark just a little bit, then great.
I’m a bit of a gypsy. I live everywhere; I live out of a bag.
I think you’re always attracted by characters that are a little bit like you, or at least the worst parts of you that you can finally accept and say, ‘All right, at least I know that now!’
I grew up in a very loud and dramatic household, and we loved being in the spotlight.
We’re learning things every decade we grow through, and ultimately, you do end up with a different way of looking at things.
My dad still collects newspaper clippings about me.
For me, I really appreciate seeing real bodies on screen, that variation, not the same frames we saw for the majority of our upbringing, making us feel like we have to look that way.
I wanted to go to drama school, but when I got the part in ‘Falling,’ I got an agent, so it seemed a good idea to work. I always did a lot of singing and dancing, so I am glad it worked out that way. I would like to study stage acting at some point, though.
I think it’s good to not edit your life too much, or you give people different standards.
The whole wrestling art, it’s a whole form, is performance, and that’s what makes it so exciting to do.
I hope to create characters that people want to watch – and they either want to be or are, or it’s something that they recognize.
I want women on-screen that we all either want to be, or we know, or we recognize.
Throughout my life, I’ve been that annoying kid on every stage at school, in every talent contest.
I think everyone’s always interested in playing a spy, right? That’s something we grow up admiring, which is so strange, but it’s just a very clever and quick world that we all want to be a part of.
I grew up in a very loud family where you had to fight to get your voice heard, in a good way.
What we don’t realise when we watch a normal film is how many times someone has run in just before a shot quickly to wipe away that sweaty moustache. You never see a normal spot, a bag under the eye or an unplucked eyebrow, because that’s not how Hollywood works.
I remember being about six years old, for the first day of school, and sitting in the back of a Chrysler, pretending to cry while listening to Tracy Chapman.
Why shouldn’t there be more epic, brilliant female characters onscreen?
What I’ve noticed about Hollywood is, if you go out there shouting about who you are, they will love you for it. 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.
My characters do have some fantastic taste in men.
In order for us to appreciate this world, we have to be a bit more honest, and I hope I do that.
I always hate it when I see the wrong person in massive roles, so for me, my biggest fear would be accepting a role I thought I wouldn’t find the rhythm of.
During the Me Too breakthrough, I was hanging out with Emma Thompson and Emily Watson – two people I’ve looked up to my entire life. Talking to those women was so empowering.
There’s a reason why there’s a problem with bodies, and it’s because you never actually get to see any normal versions of them.
I do like a bit of danger. Guns, cars, running, bullets. I’m up for it.
Everybody’s story of getting into the industry is just as difficult as the next person. Whether you come from money or no money, it’s not easy… you have to offer yourself; you can’t expect someone to get you.
I think it’s so interesting which ways your career can go. I would have been a completely different actor doing a completely different story, and I would have missed ‘Lady Macbeth.’
I found out I got ‘The Little Drummer Girl’ and my BAFTA nomination in quick succession, and I just didn’t expect it to be like that. I thought there would be a lot more time in between. It’s been an overwhelming experience.
I can’t remember a Friday when I was younger when I wasn’t eating a pizza, flirting with the barman.
I have been enormously lucky. My first role was in a great film by a woman director.
The biggest thing about ‘Lady Macbeth’ is the fact that people are so surprised that this woman is so amazing, and really, it shouldn’t be so amazing that this incredible character is on our screens.
I love Le Carre’s writing.
Do we need to have a female Bond? Couldn’t we just make something new?
In ‘Fighting With My Family,’ there’s a scene where I have to wrestle; I have to do the famous fight between Paige and AJ Lee. We actually did perform it in front of all those thousands of people. And just beforehand, we had a little dress rehearsal, and there were all these famous wrestlers going around and watching as well. Terrifying.
As beautiful as cinema is, it’s a massive part of the problem of why we look at ourselves in the way we do.
We tend to kind of write women out of history.
I love watching faces as they grow up. It’s the difference between so many strong British actresses compared to what America does to women. I like a face that hasn’t been tampered with.
What audiences love with series is that they can invest in characters for such a long period of time, and it’s the same for actors. You can truly tell your story; then it’s done.
Girls have that wonderful thing where they try to throw each other off, not wanting to appear too eager.
If you ever want to be interrogated, get Michael Shannon to do it. He’s an amazing man. I loved working with him.
Sometimes in the real world, there is fire between people.
I can definitely hold my hands up and say wrestling wasn’t something that I grew up watching.
I am learning on every job I do. There is something new every time.
I’ve been told to be skinny before – it’s already happened, but it’s up to you to either listen or say no. I’m not listening.
‘Lady Macbeth’ is a great opportunity for me to prove that maybe the outcome of ‘The Falling’ was not necessarily a fluke.
When I look for roles, I am looking for incredibly powerful women.
Feisty women are my calling!
The women I’m attracted to playing I hope will mean something to someone.
Something that I’ve always been really keen on representing is some honesty with the way that we view ourselves. That’s something I’ve always appreciated watching actors that I’ve looked up to, is when they look like you and me, or they have a funny elbow, or they have, you know, a hairy face.
[on living in Spain for three years] Even though we moved out there for other reasons, looking back on it, I’m so happy I had that childhood – in and out of the sea naked, cycling down the road in my knickers, and bartering with the sweet shop owner.
I really appreciate playing fascinating and interesting women. They don’t always have to be likeable. I enjoy women who have something to say, they have a point that they represent.
With the life I’ve been lucky enough to live in the last two years, I’ve had to live out of bags.
I find it hard to do anything half-way. I love to feel it all.
My entire life I’ve always appreciated the slightly cheeky or naughty characters in books or in films. I think it’s a piece of us we can all appreciate, because I feel like there’s an inner bratty child in all of us.
[on the schools that she attended on not supporting her decision to go into acting] For a long time it was like, ‘I know these people don’t back me’, because they didn’t.
[On her attitude towards her body] We are human; we are bodies. Yes, I can put makeup on and look good for a premiere. But at the end of the day, I still have hair on the top of my lip and I still smell after a workout and I still get spots when I’m stressed. I think that attitude definitely has trickled down from when I was a child.
[On body image and body shaming culture] Body image for women is a major thing. From the moment you start growing thighs and bums and boobs and all of it, everything starts changing. And your relationship with food starts changing.
wing up uninhibited] We were always naked as kids. We are human, we are bodies.
[being criticized for wearing sheer dresses] If I’m happy in it, then I’m gonna wear it. Of course, I don’t want to offend people, but I think my point is: How can my nipples offend you that much?.
She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her role as Amy March in coming of age drama movie Little Women (2019).
She won the British Independent Film Award for Best Actress and the Evening Standard British Film Award for Most Promising Newcomer for her role as Katherine Lester in drama film Lady Macbeth (2016).
She was nominated for the BAFTA Scotland Award for Best Actress – Film for her role as Elizabeth de Burgh in historical action drama movie Outlaw King (2018).
She was nominated for the Chicago Indie Critics Award for Best Actress and the Fangoria Chainsaw Award for Best Actress for her role as Dani Ardor in folk horror movie Midsommar (2019).
She won the Critics Choice Super Award for Best Actress in a Superhero Movie for her role as Yelena Belova in superhero film Black Widow (2021).
She was nominated for the British Independent Film Award for Best Lead Performance for her role as Lib Wright in psychological drama film The Wonder (2022).
She won the London Critics Circle Film ALFS Award for British/Irish Actress of the Year for her voice role as Goldilocks in animated adventure film Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (2022).
She was nominated for the People’s Choice Award for Drama Movie Star for her role as Alice Chambers in psychological thriller film Don’t Worry Darling (2022).
Malevolent (2018) horror as Angela Sayers
The Commuter (2018) action thriller as Gwen
King Lear (2018) drama history as Cordelia
Fighting with My Family (2019) biographical sports comedy drama as Saraya “Paige” Knight
Father of the Bride Part 3 (ish) (2020) short family as Megan Banks
A Good Person (2023) comedy drama as Allison
Oppenheimer (2023) biographical as Jean Tatlock
Dune: Part (2023) epic science fiction as Princess Irulan
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She was nominated for the OFTA Television Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture or Limited Series for her role as Charmian “Charlie” Ross in BBC One and AMC drama series The Little Drummer Girl (2018).
She was nominated for the Hollywood Critics Association Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Streaming Series, Comedy for her role as as Yelena Belova / Black Widow in Disney+ superhero series Hawkeye (2021).
Attended the Cokethorpe Junior School and Wychwood School in Oxford (2007-2009).
Studied at St. Edward’s School in Oxford.
Has Irish and English ancestry.
Has one older brother, Toby Sebastian and two sisters: Arabella Gibbins, Rafaela.
She released her first song “Wooden Pages” in 2009.
She was nominated for the BAFTA EE Rising Star Award in 2018.
She was awarded a Trophée Chopard at the Cannes Film Festival (2019).
Lives in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England.