What You Don't Know About Florence Pugh

Fans of horror films will recognize Florence Pugh from her frightening "Midsommar" performance. "For someone who is not classically trained, she has formidable instincts. I think she can play anything," director Ari Aster told The New York Times. This prediction came true as Pugh went on to appear in other big films, whether as an MCU superhero in "Black Widow" or in the suspenseful "Don't Worry Darling." One of her finest performances was in "Little Women." Among the completely stacked cast including Meryl Streep, Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamet, and Emma Watson, both Ronan and Pugh earned Oscar nominations for their performances, per The Hollywood Reporter. The film's director, Greta Gerwig, knew she would be casting a star after seeing Pugh's performance in the 2017 "Lady Macbeth" movie. "I was struck by her confidence, solidness in her own person and her own art. She's so young, but she's also so incredibly sure in her skin. Not to mention, she's wildly talented," Gerwig said of Pugh.

Pugh's quick ascent in Hollywood is also partly due to her ability to take risks, whether in entertainment or her personal life. "I love being bold ... I'm excited by shocking people," Pugh told J.Crew. These shocks included a relationship with a high profile celebrity, fashion choices, and controversy surrounding one of her biggest films. Through it all, the actor told Harper's Bazaar in 2022 that she was only just finding her stride.

Let's dive into some information you may have not known about Florence Pugh.

How Florence Pugh's childhood shaped her

Florence Pugh is British — born and raised in Oxford outside of London, per BBC. Growing up, she attended the Wychwood private school followed by St. Edward's private school before her family relocated to Spain. "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," she told The Guardian about these early days. Pugh's dad is a restaurateur who owns several cafes in Pugh's native Oxford, according to Oxfordshire Live. Given her influence as a famous actor, Pugh made sure to give a shout out to his businesses on an Instagram post. "We all grew up in Cafe Coco and Kazbar, so it's always so sentimental and a total treat to come back and be home again," she said in the caption.

Looking back, she was grateful of her upbringing and remembered a "wonderfully noisy and creative" home life, Pugh told The New York Times. The young girl was studious but enjoyed having fun and reading books for pleasure. At home, she helped her mother with chores and gardening. Pugh also learned how to differentiate herself from her siblings. "You had to shout to have your voice heard," she explained about growing up and as a result, Pugh admitted, "I'm quite stubborn and headstrong ... I like having a fight."

Florence Pugh is close with her family

Florence Pugh has several siblings since she is the second youngest of four children, per The New York Times. At age seven, when she learned that her mom was pregnant, "I opened the sliding door, picked up a stick and just smashed it on the floor. I didn't know how to deal with that information," Pugh recalled to The Hollywood Reporter. The family produced more than just one talented kid, as Pugh's older sister is a multi-talented comedian, vocal coach, and actor. Her older brother Toby Sebastian is an actor as well, who most famously played Prince Trystane Martell in the HBO series "Game of Thrones."

For her Oscar nomination in "Little Women," Pugh brought both of her parents to the ceremony and glamorous Hollywood events afterwards like Madonna's Oscar party, where she recalled her dad chatting with celebrities and promoting her. Meanwhile, she couldn't find her mom until she "suddenly comes crawling from somewhere. She's holding onto banisters and doors," Pugh explained on "Jimmy Kimmel Live." Her mom then admitted, "I've been hanging out with Snoop Dogg." A shocked Pugh joked, "my mom got high with Snoop Dogg."

Adorably, Pugh brought her grandmother, who she refers to as Granzo Pat, to the Venice film fest for the opening of the film "Don't Worry Darling." In an Instagram post with the two together in Italy, Pugh wrote, "It was truly the most special moment I have ever had on a carpet."

Florence Pugh loves adventure

At a young age, Florence Pugh and her family moved from England to Spain. "It really was fun. My parents were young and had three kids and decided to just 'vamanos,'" Pugh explained as a guest on "Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge" (via People). "I want to do that when I'm older ... just picking up and going and living somewhere," she said. Pugh was up for anything on the adventure TV show, partly because "My gran is a bit of an adrenaline junkie. We'd go climbing," Pugh explained. 

She was up for adventure in her acting career too, like when she joined the MCU in "Black Widow" and needed to prepare for the action scenes. "For me, I loved all of that because I grew up with a lot of dance and a lot of movement. I was always fighting my brother, so I find all of that combat stuff so exciting," Pugh told Elle. Photographer Jay Maidment showed a behind-the-scenes look on Instagram of Pugh learning how to fight for scenes in the film. These new skills are one of the many things Pugh loves about being an actor, as she credited her line of work with satisfying her desire to explore the world. "I think that one of the pulls for me is that I get to see places, see people, befriend people, fall in love with people, and then move on and do it again," she told Harper's Bazaar.

Florence Pugh went viral before Hollywood

As a teenager, Florence Pugh enjoyed playing the guitar and decided to upload songs of her songs to YouTube. Other performers found success this way, like Shawn Mendes releasing covers on the Vine social media app, per Vulture. Under the performance name of "Flossie Rose," Pugh performed acoustic covers of popular tracks. For example, Pugh uploaded a video of herself in 2013 performing "Wonderwall." In another video, she covers the song "Angel" by Jack Johnson. "Was asked to sing this song for a wedding and had such an ease in singing and performing it that the chords and words have stuck with me," Pugh wrote in the video's caption. She credited her father with trying many different types of creative expression. "He's like me: If you don't want to do it, don't do it," Pugh told The New York Times.

Though Pugh went on to become a huge movie star, she hasn't completely abandoned her career of also being a rock star, and hopes to perform more music, according to Vogue. She didn't have to look far for someone who can both sing and act — her "Don't' Worry Darling" co-star Harry Styles. Pugh occasionally sings for her roles, like she did with Styles in the movie. The two then released a collaborative track from the film called "With You All the Time," featuring Styles on piano and Pugh with the vocals, Pitchfork reported.

Florence Pugh is a star in the kitchen

Already comfortable with uploading videos online from her early music days as Flossie Rose, Florence Pugh showed off her talents in the kitchen by making cooking videos. In 2020, Pugh began sharing cooking tutorials on her Instagram story, making recipes like squash soup, ice cream, and roasts, according to Us Weekly. "My dad called me yesterday and he said, 'Why aren't you dancing and why aren't you cooking?' So this morning I woke up and I danced, and I felt better. And now I am going to cook," she told her Instagram followers. 

"When the world lockdown started and it obviously got serious very quickly, I found myself desperate to chop. Feed. Eat. Repeat! It keeps me calm, stirring and creating," Pugh told Elle, nothing that she also enjoyed baking bread. "I've saved a slice of each loaf in the freezer so my mum can try the progress, from beginning to end when the lockdown eases," she added. Her videos are charming, with the actor dancing around to music and creating dishes without recipes, often using just what she had around the house. "It's 'Cooking with Flo' b*t**es," she said at the start of one of her demonstration videos, referring to her atypical cooking series.

Even when the cameras are off, "I cook pretty much most evenings or lunch time ... I find it really therapeutic," Pugh told Vogue. The actor added that she often likes to make food instead of ordering out.

How Florence Pugh started off acting

As a six-year-old, Florence Pugh discovered the rush of being an actor when she portrayed the role of Mary with a heavy British accent in her school's nativity play. "It was the first time I knew the power of being on stage. I remember thinking, 'Oh God, they're waiting for me, they're listening to everything I say and I have complete control,'" Pugh revealed to The Guardian.

Pugh later pursued acting as a career and had a tough time like so many hopefuls in landing the roles she wanted. She also had to go through the sometimes grueling audition process. On one especially difficult day, Pugh remembered when she was auditioning as an 18 year old. The actor was already five coffees deep when another actor in the room picked up a phone call when Pugh was in her zone. The seemingly-benign event set her off. "I was like, "Oh my goodness how am I going to recover from this? I've got far too much caffeine in my system and now I'm heartbroken,'" Pugh recalled to Backstage. Looking back, the actor admitted that "everything is dreadful when you've had too many coffees and you're so anxious." In a later audition, Pugh thought she had no chance of landing the role but to her surprise, she was cast in "The Falling," her first movie role. Working on the film "was a big, flashy bizarre experience," she admitted to the BBC.

The trouble with fame for Florence Pugh

Florence Pugh said one of her favorite parts of acting was knowing how to control and influence the emotions of an audience. "I still feel that now. How everyone is hanging on to your every word," she told The Guardian. Yet, Pugh feels powerless at times in the spotlight. "It's a strange side of fame that you're allowed to be torn apart by thousands of people even though you didn't put that piece of you out there," she revealed to Elle. While she confessed that life as a Hollywood star means that she has less privacy, Pugh had difficulty accepting "that normal folk are allowed to display such hate and opinions" about her private life. 

Pugh particularly dislikes paparazzi, which at times have exposed her romantic relationships. "I don't think that people, just because they have this job, that every aspect of their life should be watched and written about. We haven't signed up for a reality TV show," she declared to Harper's Bazaar.

Part of Pugh may not have thought she would become an A-lister in the first place. During a 2018 interview to talk about her role in "The Little Drummer Girl," the actor confessed she didn't think her life would change much. "I haven't been prepping myself for fame," she told Grazia. Fortunately, Pugh likely received a few tips from famous British actor Emma Thompson. Pugh called Thompson a mentor after the two appeared together in the film adaptation of "King Lear."

The medical condition Florence Pugh lives with

You wouldn't know it from watching her performances on screen that Florence Pugh grew up with health issues. When she was only a toddler, Pugh often had to go to the hospital because she had difficulty breathing. "From a young age, I've just had a different breathing system," Pugh revealed on her appearance in "Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge" (via People). The actor has a condition called tracheomalacia, which the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia said results from an underdeveloped or damaged trachea, making it difficult for young children to breath and exhale. "When I was younger, [doctors] kind of just advised that a hotter climate would be better," Pugh remembered learning. 

As a result, her entire family relocated from England to Spain to help Pugh's condition, per The Guardian. Pugh and her family remained in Spain for three years and though she still has tracheomalacia in addition to asthma, Pugh said her ability to breath improved with time. "As an adult, unless I get ill, it doesn't really affect me as intensely as it did when I was younger," she explained to Grylls. The one way the condition shows up is what Pugh told Vogue was "a very scary cough." The condition is also partly attributed to Pugh's distinctly raspy voice.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pugh relocated to Los Angeles to live in a warmer climate and help avoid any issues with her condition, Harper's Bazaar reported.

Florence Pugh had one super year

2019 was the breakout year for Florence Pugh thanks to her lead role in the horror film, "Midsommar." That same year, Pugh also appeared in the literary adaptation of "Little Women." Due to scheduling conflicts, Pugh almost had to pass on the role but the director Greta Gerwig was determined to have Pugh. "We were just chatting for hours, and then finally Greta says, 'Well I'm so excited that we're going to be working together,' and I'm like 'Eeh' because I knew that both films weren't going to work," Pugh admitted to The Wrap. "But through the power of two amazing directors, they moved mountains to make this schedule work so I could come in," Pugh said of shooting both films. This meant that one day Pugh was "traipsing around a field in a flower crown" for scenes in "Midsommar," and one week later "wearing as many petticoats" as possible for Gerwig's period drama.

Gerwig not only altered the filming schedule but also needed to convince the movie studio that Pugh could act just as well alongside her famous co-stars. "I had her put herself on tape so that I could prove to everyone at the studio that she was who I knew her to be: a stone-cold movie star as well as a top-notch actress," Gerwig told The Hollywood Reporter. "The tape she delivered was essentially the performance she gave as Amy. She had figured it out entirely," the director added about Pugh's character.

Her fashion sense caused a scene

Florence Pugh has long been unafraid of taking risks in her fashion choices and personal style. Like when she had her septum pierced in 2021 to put in a nose ring. Pugh showed off her newest accessory on Instagram but admitted she fainted during the piercing. This was nothing compared to the press she received for an outfit choice. Pugh attended a Valentino fashion show in Rome wearing a dress from the luxury house. Even better, creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli worked with Pugh to customize the dress. The two decided to get rid of the dress lining, making it somewhat transparent for the upper half of her body, which didn't faze the actor because "I was comfortable with my small breasts," she explained to Harper's Bazaar. When she stepped out in the bubble-gum pink dress, people began commenting on Pugh's figure. 

While Pugh knew wearing a sheer dress would be divisive, she didn't expect so many negative comments online directed towards her. "It isn't the first time and certainly won't be the last time a woman will hear what's wrong with her body by a crowd of strangers, what's worrying is just how vulgar some of you men can be," Pugh posted on Instagram. "Thankfully, I've come to terms with the intricacies of my body that make me, me. I'm happy with all of the 'flaws' that I couldn't bear to look at when I was 14," she added in the post.

The controversy with Florence Pugh and the Don't Worry Darling cast

Following Olivia Wilde's directorial debut with "Booksmart," fans were eagerly awaiting her follow-up, titled, "Don't Worry Darling." Wilde secured Pugh as the lead and Shia LaBeouf to play her husband in the film, until firing him shortly after production started. Part of the reason was that she didn't like LaBeouf's acting process, especially in relation to her female lead. "Particularly with a movie like this, I knew that I was going to be asking Florence to be in very vulnerable situations, and my priority was making her feel safe and making her feel supported," Wilde told Variety

LaBeouf, however, later told Variety that he wasn't fired but instead quit the film. Harry Styles then replaced LaBeouf and rumors surfaced that Pugh may have been unhappy with the romantic relationship between Styles and Wilde. An anonymous source told Page Six that Pugh allegedly disapproved that Wilde was still together with Jason Sudeikis "when she first hooked up with Harry."

Pugh was then absent during the press conference for "Don't Worry Darling" at the Venice Film Festival. The actor said she couldn't attend due to conflicts with filming "Dune: Part Two" but joined for the premiere that same day, Vanity Fair recapped. Wilde said she was happy to have Pugh join and "as for all the endless tabloid gossip and noise out there, the internet feeds itself. I don't feel I need to contribute to it. It's sufficiently well-nourished," per Deadline.

Florence Pugh dated Zach Braff for three years

In 2019, Florence Pugh began dating actor and director Zach Braff .The start of their romance may have begun from her starring role in Braff's short film "In the Time It Takes to Get There." Not long after, the two actors were spotted holding hands in New York City. Soon, Pugh and Braff began posting photos together on social media and by the end of 2019, the two appeared to be dating. 

A lot of media focused on the 21 year age difference between the two, similar to other celebrities with huge age gaps. One person commented on an Instagram post by Pugh and said to Braff, "You're 44 years old." Pugh responded, "and yet he got it" (via Cosmopolitan). She later explained that she called out the comment "because people need to realize that it's hurtful. I have the right to hang out and be with and go out with anyone I want to," Pugh told Elle. Still, the criticism was difficult on Pugh as she and Braff continued dating. "I'm an actor because I like acting and I don't mind people watching my stuff, but people have no right to educate me on my private life," she added.

After three years of dating, the couple separated in 2022, with Pugh saying that the couple tried to keep the split private. "I automatically get a lumpy throat when I talk about it," she revealed to Harper's Bazaar.

Here's how Florence Pugh spent her quarantine

Life in quarantine for Florence Pugh during the pandemic meant spending more time with her then-boyfriend Zach Braff. The two tried to make it romantic, even with the difficult circumstances. "I allow one takeaway a week, so that's our special date night," she explained on the "Table Manners" podcast. Pugh also admitted that the global crisis was difficult for her. "'I know many are in my situation, so I also know saying this time has been tough without family close by is something that resonates with a lot of people," she posted on Instagram. Pugh shared a photo with her mother and wrote, "It's the longest time I've gone without hugging my family and boy am I feeling it, however, knowing that the end of all this may be in sight is certainly making days like these easier," she added in the caption.

During the pandemic, Pugh announced that she was joining Olivia Wilde's film "Don't Worry Darling." The actor called Wilde her idol and was excited to begin filming when restrictions from the pandemic loosened up. "I can't wait to join this project when all of this is over. Until then, masks up. Gloves on. Stay home," she posted. Then, Pugh unfortunately contracted the coronavirus. Her castmates Harry Styles and Chris Pine also tested positive for COVID-19 and all the actors had to quarantine. As a result, the studio New Line had to temporarily stop production of the movie, Deadline reported.

The charitable side of Florence Pugh

In the midst of lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Florence Pugh used her talents to help others. For example, a theater in Oak Park, Illinois, outside of Chicago began hosting fundraisers with famous actors performing dramatic readings of plays on YouTube. Pugh read from the Kenneth Lonergan play "This is Our Youth," with funds going to the Mount Sinai Hospital, per the Chicago Tribune. The impressive two hour performance with Pugh also starred actors Justice Smith and Alex Wolff. 

Another one of Pugh's quarantine projects was bringing poetry to life. She worked with poet Simon Armitage on his poem "Lockdown." Armitage, a poet laureate, wrote his piece in response to restrictions and lockdowns he experienced while living in the United Kingdom, per The Guardian. Then, Pugh and Armitage recorded themselves reading parts of the poem. The band LYR released a music video called "Lockdown (In aid of Refuge)" with Armitage's poem, and Pugh's reading, in the background. LYR then donated to the British charity Refuge for every download of the song.

That same year, Pugh encouraged other celebrities to give funds to charities. Powerhouse studio A24 hosted a charity auction, and one of the items up for bid was the flower "May Queen" dress Pugh famously wore for her role in "Midsommar." Ariana Grande posted she was bidding on the dress and Pugh publicly responded, "DO IT! Halloween will never be the same," via Insider.

Here's how much Florence Pugh is really worth

With her first breakout role in "Midsommar" only coming out 2019, Florence Pugh has built up an impressive bank account in the following years. For her 2022 film "Don't Worry Darling," media outlet Showbiz Galore claimed that Pugh earned $700,000 for the lead role, while her co-star Harry Styles earned $2.5 million. Director Olivia Wilde refuted the claims, which she claimed were clickbait. Wilde was upset that people would believe she would not give an equal salary to Pugh because "I'm a woman who has been in this business for over 20 years, and it's something that I have fought for myself and others, especially being a director. There is absolutely no validity to those claims," Wilde told Variety. Whatever Pugh's final takeaway was, it contributed to her estimated net worth in 2022 of $8 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

With some of her money, Pugh worked on expanding her other passion, cooking. "I'm designing my kitchen in London at the moment," Pugh told Harper's Bazaar. "I'm literally designing it just so that it can be ready for 'Cooking With Flo,'" the actor added, referencing her online cooking tutorials. 

She has also used some of her money to treat others. "I'm amazing at buying house warming gifts," Pugh posted on Instagram. In this particular case, she appeared to buy a bed sheet covered with pugs, which she proudly posed on in the photo.