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Midsommar's Florence Pugh Looks Back On Abuse She Endured For The Film

Actors do crazy things for their roles all the time. Christian Bale's weight and muscle mass has fluctuated so intensely from role to role that it's reasonable to worry about his overall health. Leonardo DiCaprio, in various projects, sliced up his hand on camera and even ate a raw bison liver so he could finally get his Oscar. Nicole Kidman wore a large fake nose that one time. According to Florence Pugh, whose new movie, "A Good Person," is out now, she went through hell for her breakthrough 2019 horror flick, "Midsommar."

Speaking to Ed Gamble and James Acaster on the "Off Menu" podcast (via The Hollywood Reporter), Pugh said she "most definitely abused herself" to play Dani, a young woman grieving the deaths of her immediate family who goes on a trip to Sweden with her arguably terrible boyfriend. "Each day the content would be getting more weird and harder to do," Pugh revealed. "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."

"There were so many places that I had to go to," she continued. "I'd never played someone that was in that much pain before, and I would put myself in really s*** situations that maybe other actors don't need to do, but I would just be imagining the worst things."

Florence Pugh had a difficult time letting go of Dani

As THR notes, Pugh's filming schedule for "Midsommar" led directly into the shoot for Greta Gerwig's adaptation of "Little Women" — and she had trouble leaving Dani behind. "I felt like I'd left her there in that field, in that state, and it was so weird. I've never had that before. I've always thought all my characters, once I left like, 'They'll be fine,'" Pugh said. "She can't fend for herself, almost like I'd created this person, and then I just left her when I had to go do another movie ... I created such a sad person, and then felt guilty that I'd created that person and then left her."

If you've seen "Midsommar," you probably understand why Pugh felt so conflicted. Reeling from losing her sister, mother, and father, Dani tags along on a research trip to Sweden to attend a midsummer ceremony — which ends up in her favor, when all is said and done. As Dani's friends are picked off one by one for violating various commune rules, her boyfriend, Christian (Jack Reynor), is drugged and ends up cheating on Dani with a young Swedish girl; in the end, she chooses him as a human sacrifice when she's crowned the May Queen. This intensely difficult role put Pugh on the map, and she ultimately earned an Oscar nod for "Little Women," placing Pugh firmly on Hollywood's A-list — but there's no denying that "Midsommar" was a tough project.