Florence Pugh has a checklist when choosing roles: they must be intense, and the character must cry…a lot.
“It’s no secret that I only pick very intense roles,” Pugh said during the premiere of Zach Braff’s “A Good Person,” in which she plays an opioid addict grappling with grief following a fatal car accident (via Variety). “This isn’t the first time I’ve been reduced to tears pretty much every single scene that I’ve been in. I like finding the ugliness in humans. I love being raw. I love being given a script where it challenges myself and I have never picked a role unless I’ve been scared of it.”
Pugh added of writer-director Braff, with whom she was romantically involved with for years leading up to the film, “And this is someone that knew me, knew my potential and wanted to work with me. I think it would have been strange if he wrote a Nancy Meyers thing for me to be like, ‘So…you’re not going to cry in this movie.’ I’d be like, ‘Oh God!’”
The “Oppenheimer” actress continued of Braff knowing her darker inclinations onscreen, “I wouldn’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. I think if anything, it means that he could believe that I could do it.”
Pugh also produced “A Good Person,” which co-stars Morgan Freeman, Molly Shannon, Celeste O’Connor, Zoe Lister-Jones, and Chinaza Uche. The film was shot in Braff’s native New Jersey.
“When we moved to the town, Florence felt like she was in a Nancy Meyers movie,” Braff said, adding that the project was “incredibly emotionally taxing on Florence” due to the intense subject matter.
“I wanted to write something for Florence, and this is kind of what came out of me,” the “Garden State” filmmaker said. “I am in awe of her talent. It’s like if you’re with the most incredible violinist in the world, and you’re going to write him a piece, you’re not going to write something that’s simple. You’re going to write something that is going to take all of them because you know that they can do it.”
While Pugh’s upcoming roles decidedly do not include a Nancy Meyers movie, the rom-com director recently made headlines for Netflix film “Paris Paramount” which reportedly has a budget between $130 and $150 million. Netflix declined to comment on the production, which is set to star Scarlett Johansson, Penélope Cruz, Owen Wilson, and Michael Fassbender. The film marks Meyers’ return to Hollywood since 2015’s “The Intern,” with Meyers confirmed to write, produce, and direct the “semi-autobiographical rom-com,” as described by Puck.