5 titles starring the fantastically fierce Florence Pugh
The 25-year-old English actress made her debut in the drama movie The Falling in 2014, but shot to fame with her role as the bloodthirsty Lady Macbeth in the 2016 indie film based on the Shakespeare play. Whether she’s the lead in a horror movie, as in Midsommar and Malevolent, the passionate young Amy March in the 2019 adaptation of the classic Little Women, a wrestling star or webcam girl, she’s completely captivating and scene-stealing on screen.
Here are some of her most iconic roles in recent shows and movies on Netflix and Showmax.
This 2019 horror movie isn’t for the faint-hearted. Florence plays psychology student Dani Ardor, who is going through a rough patch. She’s emotionally scarred after her sister killed their parents by filling their house with exhaust fumes and gassing them, then committed suicide. And her boyfriend Christian (Jack Reynor, Jack Parsons in historical drama series Strange Angel) wants to break up with her before he leaves on a trip to a Nordic festival in his hometown.
Dani finding out about his secret trip kind of forces Christian to take her with him, but it’ll become a trip Dani longs to forget – especially after she takes psychedelic mushrooms and has visions of her dead family. Christian also forgets that it’s Dani’s birthday. That’s just the start, because the festival isn’t quite as innocent as Dani expected – there’s ritual suicide, people go missing, there’s an orgy, and Dani is later asked to choose one of the “insider” sacrifices – Christian, or one of the other locals.
Did you know? Florence designed the floral crown that her character wears. She also wears a flower tiara in Little Women (read on).
Florence leads this 2018 horror movie, set in 1986, in which she plays Angela, one half of a brother-sister scam team with Jackson (Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Tsar Alexander in 2016 historical miniseries War & Peace). They con people using Angela’s purported powers as a medium – she “connects” with her mother and is able to get rid of ghosts in people’s homes thanks to help from her mom “on the other side”. The thing is, Angela finds out that her powers might be real – she starts hearing voices like that of her mom, who committed suicide after seeing ghosts.
For their latest job, the siblings end up in a derelict mansion and Angela discovers that foster children died in there … with their mouths sewn shut. The current home owner realises that the siblings are conning her and holds them at knifepoint, only for Angela’s powers to materialise. While the ghosts of the dead girls help her to escape, it’s too late for Jackson. At home and safe later, though, Angela realises that she’s no longer alone…
Did you know? The signs on the streets are written in the same font as horror anthology series American Horror Story, which Florence binged to understand ghosts, ghouls and other things that go bump in the night.
Marcella S1 on Netflix
The British noir-like police drama has three seasons available but Florence is only in Season 1. She plays webcam girl Cara, who lands in Detective Sergeant Marcella Backland’s (Anna Friel, Lisa in drama miniseries Deep Water) crosshairs. Cara is accused of defrauding her clients, using software to steal their credit card details when they subscribe to her sex chatroom.
Cara’s problems worsen when she’s brought into Marcella’s hunt for a serial killer because Cara can identify the killer – and a necklace she often wears holds a clue to the killer’s identity, too.
Did you know? The bakery scenes are filmed at Healthy Eaters Jamaican restaurant in London, which is one of Florence’s favourite restaurants.
Little Women on Netflix
It’s seventh time lucky for the 1868 novel by Louisa May Alcott – this 2019 version has Florence powering the cast list. She is cast as Amy March, the youngest of the four March sisters (with Saorise Ronan as Josephine, Emma Watson as Margaret, and Eliza Scanlen as Beth) who is jealous, hot-headed and determined. Through her jealousy, she not only burns her sister Jo’s writing just before Jo is about to be published in a newspaper, she also chases Jo and her friend Laurie across a frozen lake when they’re trying to avoid her.
Then Amy falls through a thin piece of ice and needs to be rescued. She’s also the favourite niece of her snobby Aunt March (Meryl Streep, Donna in musical comedy Mamma Mia!) who whisks her, and only her, away on European trips. But as Amy grows up, she redeems herself – by the end, Amy is working with her sisters as a teacher in their late Aunt’s house, which has been converted into a school.
Did you know? Florence started filming this movie two days after she finished filming Midsommar and considers Little Women as “therapy from something so stressful and anxiety-inducing” as the psychological thriller Midsommar.
Fighting With My Family on Netflix
WWE icon-turned-acting heavyweight Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is the executive producer of this 2019 biographical dramedy movie, and he cameos in it, too. But Florence is the real star, portraying British wrestler Saraya Knight. She’s an angsty teen who has taken a backseat to her brother – the family’s sole hope of WWE glory in the US. But there’s a hitch in the Knight family’s gameplan, because Saraya turns out to be the talented one and she’s got the perfect “don’t care” attitude that it takes to be a wrestling star. Through her trials and tribulations, Saraya finds herself in a world that has always judged her, and she transforms into WWE Diva and Women’s Champion Paige.
Did you know? This movie is chock-a-block with celeb co-stars, including Lena Headey (Cersei in fantasy series Game of Thrones) and Nick Frost (Bertram in Season 2 of dramedy series Why Women Kill) as Saraya’s parents Sweet Saraya and Rowdy Rick, Vince Vaughn (the Blissfield Butcher in thriller movie Freaky) as WWE recruiter and coach Hutch Morgan, and Kim Matula (ex-Hope Logan from soapie The Bold & The Beautiful) as wrestler Jeri Lynn.