It’s turn out to be virtually a Hollywood reflex to consult with Florence Pugh, the breakout celebrity of the indie stunner Lady Macbeth, as “the next Kate Winslet.” Like her fellow Brit did in 1994’s Heavenly Creatures, the 22-year-old Pugh drew accolades for a disquieting efficiency that shifts abruptly from sympathetic to sociopathic. Her aptitude for theatrics used to be honed as a kid in Oxford. “I grew up in a very loud and dramatic household, and we loved being in the spotlight,” she recollects. “I remember being about six years old, for the first day of school, and sitting in the back of a Chrysler, pretending to cry while listening to Tracy Chapman.”
Her years of novice theatrics paid off: Pugh has been running virtually nonstop since successful ultimate 12 months’s British Independent Film Award for best possible actress. First up: her scene-stealing flip as Queen Elizabeth de Burgh in Netflix’s medieval drama Outlaw King, reverse Chris Pine as Scottish king Robert the Bruce. “We tend to kind of write women out of history,” she says. “So playing that queen alongside Chris was an amazing opportunity to help re-write it.” It additionally proved extra visceral than Pugh had anticipated: “We were shooting nights, and I was in a cage dangled off a cliff in Scotland, in November, wearing a sack. It was very real.”
Pine used to be blown away through his co-star. “The level of assuredness and centeredness Florence has is off the charts,” he says. “I have never met an actor so comfortable in her own skin, so capable of taking ownership of a scene simply by the force of her presence. I learned from her. Also, I think her parents should teach a class on how to raise humans.”
Pugh is recently filming the function of Amy March in Greta Gerwig’s Little Women. “Everyone who reads the book is so desperate to be Jo, because she’s so opinionated and gorgeous,” she says with a snigger. “But I really enjoy playing the youngest, brattiest daughter. So yeah, I probably am a bit of an Amy.”
And then there’s her main function as Charlie, an aspiring actress grew to become double agent in John le Carré’s The Little Drummer Girl, a restricted collection that premiered on AMC in November. “What is beautiful about Charlie is that she’s actually quite normal,” says Pugh. “We’re so used to watching these spectacular, fantastic characters on-screen do marvelous things. So it’s quite refreshing to see a normal take on such a scary world.” No subject what global Pugh inhabits, it could appear, she brings to the abnormal an unforgettable sense of the impressive.
Hair through Takayoshi Tsukisawa; make-up through Tamah; produced on location through Beverly Boy Productions; particular because of the XV Beacon Hotel; for main points, move to vf.com/credit.