Florence Pugh said she felt she had “abused” herself during the filming of the 2019 horror film “Midsommar” about a woman who gets swept up into a bizarre cult at a midsummer festival in Sweden.
“When I did it, I was so wrapped up in her, and I’ve never had this ever before with any of my characters,” she told the “Off Menu” podcast Friday. “I’d never played someone that was in that much pain before. And I would put myself in really sh—- situations that maybe other actors don’t need to do, but I would just be imagining the worst things.”
She said the content got “more weird and harder to do” with each day of shooting.
“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.”
FLORENCE PUGH TELLS CRITICS ‘GROW UP’ AFTER BACKLASH FOR SHEER DRESS: ‘WHY ARE YOU SO SCARED OF BREASTS?’
The 27-year-old said she had to leave three days before shooting wrapped to start filming 2019’s “Little Women.” While she was on a plane flying to Boston, she said, she felt “immense guilt,” like she had left her “Midsommar” character in the field where they were shooting after her character had what she described as a “psychotic break.”
“It was so weird. I’ve never had that before,” she added. “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. She can’t fend for herself, almost like I’d created this person, and then I just left her there when I had to go and do another movie.”
She said most of the time when she acts she feels like her characters would “be fine” and “know how to handle themselves” after the movie is over. But she felt strangely protective of the character she had created in “Midsommar.”
“I’d obviously created such a sad person and then felt guilty that I had created that person and then left her.”
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Pugh praised “Midsommar” director Ari Aster as “peculiar in the mad genius kind of way” and a “stand-up comedian at heart,” while acknowledging the arduousness of shooting the horror flick.
“We were shooting in a very hot field with three different languages, so I wouldn’t say that all of it was pleasurable,” she told The New York Times recently. “Also, it shouldn’t be. Why would making a movie like that be pleasurable?”
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But, she added, when Aster makes you laugh “at one thing, he will try and make you laugh at all the other things. He’ll keep going, and everybody will be crying in fits of laughter.”