Make no mistake, tiny Florence Pugh is on the rise to stardom. I think I first saw her in Outlaw King (2018), which we’ll talk about in a bit. And now she’s part of the mighty MCU I expect we’ll be seeing a lot more of her in the near future. A welcome thing, too, as she’s great.
Here are my favourite performances of hers.
Outlaw King (2018)
She starred opposite Chris Pine in this historical drama about Robert The Bruce, the 14th-century Scottish King who launched a guerilla war against the English. Pine plays Bruce, who marries Florence’s Elizabeth de Burgh. Her part isn’t huge, but she makes you sit up and take notice in every scene she’s in.
Fighting With My Family (2019)
Pugh plays Saraya ‘Paige’ Knight in this biographical sports comedy drama about a girl who falls into wrestling and manages to progress all the way to the WWE. The cast includes Lena Headey, Nick Frost, Dwayne Johnson and Jack Lowden, and is a film with a lot of heart which really showcased Pugh’s talents.
Whilst I cannot say I truly loved this movie (I mean, if you do love it, there might be something deeply wrong with you), I can say that her performance was outstanding. Horror director Ari Aster followed Hereditary with this movie, which he once described as ‘Wizard of Oz for perverts’, which sounds intriguing on paper, but in practice it was a tough watch for me. That said, Pugh kept me watching.
Black Widow (2021)
Pugh has always had natural comic sensibilities and a dry sense of humour – although I don’t think she’s had much opportunity to show that side. Now she’s part of the MCU, that’ll change. With Black Widow she pretty much stole this movie — although maybe it was more Scarlett passing the baton with her last performance. Either way, expect a lot more Pugh in future Marvel movies and tv.
On a final note: I know she starred in Lady Macbeth (2016) and put in a superb performance in Little Women (2019). But I’ve still not seen either of those movies, so I cannot include them.
That said, she’s one of my favourite up-and-coming actors, and I’m keen to see her next in Don’t Worry Darling (2022), which is directed by Olivia Wilde and has her once again working with Chris Pine.