Florence Pugh is opening up about the “immense guilt” she felt wrapping “Midsommar.”
The Oscar-nominated actress looked back on the 2019 psychological thriller written and directed by Ari Aster. Pugh plays Dani, a psychology grad student whose toxic relationship unravels while visiting a cult-like community in Sweden.
“When I did it, I was so wrapped up in her and I’ve never had this ever before with any of my characters,” Pugh said during the “Off Menu” podcast. “I’d never played someone that was in that much pain before, and I would put myself in really shitty situations that maybe other actors don’t need to do but I would just be imagining the worst things.”
The “A Good Person” star continued, “Each day the content would be getting more weird and harder to do. 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.”
Pugh added, “We were shooting in a very hot field with three different languages, so I wouldn’t say that all of it was pleasurable. Also, it shouldn’t be. Why would making a movie like that be pleasurable?”
Immediately following “Midsommar,” Pugh relocated to Boston for Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women” and endured emotional whiplash between the two roles.
“I remember looking [out the plane] and feeling immense guilt because I felt like I’d left [Dani] in that field in that [emotional] state,” she said. “It’s so weird. I’ve never had that before. Obviously, that’s probably a psychological thing where I felt immense guilt of what I’d put myself through but I definitely felt like I’d left her there in that field to be abused, almost like I’d created this person and then I just left her there to go and do another movie.”
Pugh wrote a tribute to the “Midsommar” cast, calling it a “true sisterhood” in a social media post at the time.
“I remember the first take being so long, much longer than is displayed in the film that you all watched,” Pugh said, citing the infamous climatic breakdown scene with Dani. “When Ari said cut, we all clung on to each other’s arms and dug our nails into each other’s palms and wept. Sobbed. Heaved. I remember it being really hard to stop…Truly, these women made this scene possible. I knew I would never be so open and so raw and so exhausted like I was that day ever again. Scenes that make you hurt, or cringe, or turn away from the screen when watching are scenes designed to make you feel, for ten seconds at least, the most human. But for us, it was hours. Beautiful, hard, proud hours.”
The “Don’t Worry Darling” actress also recently cited the immense weight of the floral gown she wore in the final sequence of the film.
“That dress was so heavy,” Pugh said during the “Hot Ones” YouTube series. “These amazing costume makers and designers spent months, weeks, making that. And all of those flowers were individually made and handmade, and they all have wire in them. So every single one of those flowers then obviously adds to the weight of the dress. It would take like 15, 20 minutes to get in and out of it. So I tried to stay still. It meant on the hot days, I would get fucking hot.”
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