Florence Pugh Is Amazing In Midsommar, But Says Role Took A Toll: 'I Put Myself In Really Sh-t Situations’

Florence Pugh in Midsommar
(Image credit: A24)

There may come a time in the future when the list of the best horror movies may include writer/director Ari Astor’s Midsommar. An indie hit upon its 2019 release, the Florence Pugh-led film saw the actor winding through an emotional maze of terror and catharsis, wowing audiences in the process. While Pugh is amazing in the role of Dani, she admits that there was a price to pay, as she described an acting process that really put her through the wringer. 

Well, Florence Pugh described it a lot more colorfully when she sat down to guest star on the podcast Off Menu with Ed Gamble and James Acaster. Here’s how Pugh described the situation, and how it sort of inspired her to fall down a minor acting rabbit hole: 

I’d never played someone that was in that much pain before, and I would put myself in really shit situations that maybe other actors don’t need to do but I would just be imagining the worst things.

Starting off the film in intense grief over the death of her family, Dani’s journey only brings her more trauma and misfortune as the tale goes on. Even Midsommar’s auditions were wild, so Florence and the rest of the cast probably had an inkling of an idea as to where things could head. 

Then again, as she recalled in her story about shooting the film, Florence Pugh did end up falling into the darker corners of her imagination. While that was great for the movie itself, it did leave the actor with a bit of apprehension when wrapping her time on set. 

Going on to discuss when she left Midsommar’s production for Little Women, Florence Pugh even noted that when she spotted the field they were filming on her flight, she felt a great deal of guilt. Just as she’d never played that sort of pain in a character before, Pugh was actually wondering if Dani was going to be ok after the movie’s events. 

Though she and Ari Aster disagree on what Midsommar’s ending potentially means, there’s no moving past the fact that we don’t really know what happens to Dani that shocking finale. It's an ambiguity that's stuck with audiences, and after the intense experience she went through bonding with her character, it even left Florence Pugh lingering on the subject a little longer than she'd ever done before.

Through various Midsommar behind the scenes stories, the intensity of Ari Aster’s second film has become well known to horror fans. Between environmental challenges, and the emotional content of the picture, the sum total experience was something that wore many cast and crew members out. Florence Pugh could possibly be the May Queen of that very title herself, thanks to the story she’s just told about how she brought Dani to life. 

If for some reason you either haven’t seen, or would like to revisit Midsommar, you can check it out pretty easily. Through a Showtime add-on to your Paramount+ subscription, or any other service that offers the option, you can currently stream the Ari Aster folk horror hit. Meanwhile, audiences can see Florence Pugh in far less harrowing scenarios through her latest film, A Good Person, which is in theaters now. 

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.