Who Is Florence Pugh?
Florence Pugh was cast in her first movie at the age of 17 and a few years later received a nomination for a British Academy of Film and Television Arts Rising Star Award. Her roles have ranged from period dramas to horror movies to Marvel action flicks, with notable parts in Midsommar, Black Widow and the television miniseries The Little Drummer Girl. Pugh received a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Amy March in the 2019 adaptation of Little Women.
Early Life, School and Siblings
Florence Rose Pugh was born on January 3, 1996, in Oxford, England, United Kingdom. Her father was a restaurateur and her mother a dance teacher. Pugh was raised in Oxford, though as a girl her family moved to Spain for three years in the hopes of treating a recurring health issue that turned out to be tracheomalacia. Tracheomalacia results in a partially collapsed trachea, making breathing more difficult. It often sent Pugh to the hospital when she was young. She has said of the condition, “It’s the reason I have a deep voice and why I sound like a goose when I laugh.”
Even as a child Pugh knew how to enthrall an audience. When she played Mary in a nativity play at the age of six, she entertained spectators by adopting a northern accent and complaining about varicose veins. “It was the first time I knew the power of being on stage,” Pugh said. “I remember thinking, ‘Oh God, they’re waiting for me, they’re listening to everything I say and I have complete control.'” As a teenager, Pugh sang and played guitar to cover songs such as “Wonderwall” under the username “Flossie Rose” on YouTube.
Pugh attended the private schools Wychwood and St. Edward’s in Oxford, but did not excel academically. “I don’t think I was built for school,” Pugh told The New York Times in 2020. “I just wanted to perform and make music and make pots.”
“I grew up in a very loud and dramatic household, and we loved being in the spotlight,” Pugh said in 2018. Her two older siblings also became actors. Her older brother Toby Sebastian portrayed Prince Trystane Martell on “Game of Thrones” and her older sister Arabella Gibbins trained as an actress and has worked onstage, as a singer and a vocal coach. Pugh also has a younger sister, Rafaela, who was born when Pugh was 7.
Movie and TV Roles: ‘Midsommar,’ ‘Little Women’ and ‘Black Widow’
While a 17-year-old Pugh was still in school, she participated in an open audition and landed a part in the film The Falling (2014). She went on to be praised for her work in this role. In 2015, Pugh was cast in a pilot for an American TV show. She subsequently relocated to Los Angeles, where her negative experiences included the production telling her to lose weight. The pilot didn’t become a series. She later told Vogue, “When it didn’t go through, that was when I realized how relieved I was.”