FLORENCE CALL­ING

Ac­tress Florence Pugh smashes Shake­speare (and wrestling).

ELLE (Australia) - - Contents -

MY FIRST ROLE WAS AS MARY IN MY PRI­MARY-SCHOOL NA­TIV­ITY. I al­ways felt com­fort­able per­form­ing. It was my thing – to be loud, noisy and on stage.

LADY MACBETH,

WITH EV­ERY­BODY KNEW THEY WERE IN FOR SOME­THING SPECIAL.

The bud­get was tiny, mean­ing no-one was do­ing it for a mas­sive pay cheque but be­cause they felt some­thing was pow­er­ful in the script. WHEN I’M CHOOS­ING A ROLE, THE MOST IM­POR­TANT THING IS THE CHAR­AC­TER I’M PLAY­ING. She has to im­pact peo­ple, she has to have some­thing to say. Fe­male ac­tors are fed up with fluffy roles with­out con­text. In Fight­ing With My Fam­ily [out later this year], I play an as­pir­ing fe­male wrestler from a small wrestling fam­ily in Nor­wich [Eng­land] who be­comes a su­per­star. I had an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence learn­ing how to wres­tle. And I re­cently fin­ished King Lear with An­thony Hop­kins and Emma Thomp­son. I just sat in the re­hearsal room for two weeks and kept my eyes open, watch­ing ev­ery sin­gle per­son do their thing.

EMMA THOMP­SON IS SUCH A POW­ER­FUL WOMAN.

She gave me books about amaz­ing women who have been shunned over time. It’s heart­break­ing to hear sto­ries of sci­en­tists hav­ing their own ideas sent back to them 10 years later by a man, and they’re sud­denly [con­sid­ered] ground­break­ing. Emma is my star. I of­ten think, “How is this my job – hang­ing out with the coolest woman ever?”

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