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Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova in Black Widow

Last year alone, Florence Pugh starred in three massive (but widely different) movies: WWE comedy Fighting With My Family, horror film Midsommar and Best Picture-nominee Little Woman. As Pugh now gears up to star with Scarlett Johansson in Black Widow, more eyes are on the actress than ever. She has also been dealing with criticism regarding her relationship with Scrubs’ actor Zach Braff for months.

The discourse about the couple has centered around the fact that Florence Pugh and Zach Braff are 21 years apart. The two currently live together in Los Angeles and recently adopted a puppy in between quarantining with each other. As Pugh grew more comfortable posting about her boyfriend on social media, she was faced with backlash in the comment section. She recently opened about it with these words:

I’ve always found it funny how I can be good enough for people to watch my work and support my work and pay for tickets. And I'm old enough to be an adult and pay taxes, but I'm not old enough to know who I should and should not have sex with? Yet again, once again, making a young woman feel like shit for no reason. I think I did feel shit for a while about admitting that, and then I thought how ridiculous is that? I'm 24 and I can't choose who I love. That’s so unfortunate… there's a reason why I'm not with someone my age – it hasn't worked. Who are you trying to match me up with?

Florence Pugh was candid about the mean-spirited commentary surrounding her personal choices when she joined The Great British Baking Show’s Sue Perkins on her podcast, An Hour Or So With…If Pugh was a minor, this would obviously be a much different conversation, but the Midsommar actress is in her mid-20s and capable of making her own choices at the end of the day. And as she touched upon, having a more mature significant other was perhaps intentional after past experiences with boyfriends her age.

Florence Pugh and Zach Braff were flooded with negative comments on the Garden State actor’s 45th birthday back in April. Pugh posted a birthday message on Instagram with an image of her boyfriend napping with their new pup Billie, calling him a “special person.” A couple days later, Pugh returned to the platform to post the following video in response to some unwelcome commentary:

And that’s that. During her appearance on Sue Perkins’ podcast, Florence Pugh also spoke out about the nit-picking she’s received about her body as well in her movies. The moral of the story here is the girl can’t seem to win with all the Hollywood standards being placed on her. If we applaud her for going outside the box with her performance choices such as when she brings new dimensions to Amy March in Greta Gerwig’s Little Women or with her Dani finding family with the flower-crowded cult of Midsommar, why are we so judgmental with her choices elsewhere?

Otherwise, Florence Pugh has become well known for her Instagram cooking videos – even Paddington took notice at her marmalade know-how and solo dance-offs. The 24-year-old star will play Yelena Belova in Black Widow hitting theaters on November 6.

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