There are those who believe that art must hurt in order to say that the effort was really worth it, but… what happens when you exceed a limit and end up harming yourself too much in the process? Florence Pugh found herself in that situation while filming Midsommar.
“Definitely Abused Myself”: Florence Pugh’s Sacrifices for “Midsommar”
In an interview for the Off Menu podcast, the celebrity confessed that her work in director Ari Aster’s psychological horror and drama film has undoubtedly been one of the most difficult she has had to do.
Pugh played Dani, a psychology student who is grieving after losing her family in an accident. She ends up joining her toxic boyfriend on a trip to Sweden to clear her head and enjoy a summer festival.
However, she, her boyfriend, and their friends soon realize that they have arrived in a nightmare place, as the customs of the people who invited them turn out to be dangerous and even deadly.
“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 told podcast hosts James Acaster and Ed Gamble. “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 actress confessed.
“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.”
And the most difficult thing of all is that just after the filming of Midsommar ended, the celebrity did not have time to process everything she experienced on set, as she had previously committed to a role in Greta Gerwig’s version of Little Women, and had to travel directly to the set.
“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. It’s so weird. I’ve never had that before…” recalled the Black Widow star.
“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.”
It should be noted that the artist herself confessed that any abusive situation she experienced was self-inflicted, so she emphasized that no one forced her to do anything that could harm her; what’s more: she praised the director of the film, Ari Aster.
“It’s very peculiar, in a very evil genius sense. (…) Once you laugh at something, he’ll always try to make you laugh at other things. He just keeps going, and everyone ends up crying with laughter,” she commented.
“We were filming in a field in too much heat in three different languages, so I wouldn’t say it was all idyllic. Besides, it doesn’t have to be. Why should filming a movie like that be pleasant?”
Story originally written in Spanish by Alejandro Vizzuet in Cultura Colectiva.