Florence Pugh has reflected on Hollywood’s beauty standards, recalling the time she was told that she “needed to lose weight” for an acting role.
The British actress, 27, stars on the cover of Time magazine’s Next Generation Leaders issue and spoke about being drawn back to Los Angeles for the WWE film Fighting With My Family opposite Dwayne Johnson, after a producer for a pilot show that never aired had allegedly criticised her physical appearance the last time she had been in Hollywood.
Speaking about the role, she said: “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 (Hollywood) I was told I needed to lose weight, it was just so not the person I wanted to be.”
Pugh also said that after signing on to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, starring as Yelena Belova in 2021’s Black Widow, people in the independent film community were “really pissed off”.
She said: “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 organised with your schedule.”
She later made an appearance in the Disney+ show Hawkeye, but before Marvel, Pugh made her name in Hollywood with acclaimed independent films including Midsommar and Lady Macbeth, as well as more recent projects including The Wonder and A Good Person.
Pugh said she can sense when a film will succeed, saying: “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.”