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Why Florence Pugh Loved Getting Dirty And Cold For Little Women

Meteoric rises to stardom are not entirely uncommon in Hollywood circles. But few rises to the Tinsletown A-list have proven quite as meteoric as that of Florence Pugh. The English actor first caught the attention of industry elite in 2016 for her fierce work as the rebellious lady of the house to an insufferable lord in "Lady Macbeth." A couple of years later, the "Fighting With My Family" actor was a legit "it girl," earning her first Academy Award nomination for portraying the wise, but impetuous Amy March in Greta Gerwig's "Little Women."

The actor discussed that film, among others, during a 2020 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, talking in great detail about the pains undertaken took shoot a scene in which Amy falls through the ice while skating. According to the THR piece, the scene was actually filmed over several frigid New England days in December. Though Pugh herself was treading water in a sunken tank for the shoot, it seems even the water in that tank was kept just a few degrees above the actor's surroundings. This was due to the fear of rising steam from warmer water might ruin the shot.

Such conditions might prove too much for some actors to bare, but Pugh apparently relished them as she felt the icy water and dirt helped her performance feel more authentic. "I love getting dirty and I love getting cold," Pugh told THR, going on to add, "It only helps your performance, anything that's physical. I can't stand faking things." 

Being able to perform an action in a scene herself is quite important to Pugh

As noted by The Hollywood Reporter, Florence Pugh would be whisked away to a warm tub in between takes for the sake of at least trying to make her more comfortable in the frosty, Massachusetts winter air. While Pugh herself no doubt appreciated the brief respite from the cold, the actor was insistent that the conditions were indeed just more fuel for her fiery performance.

Besides fueling her work, Pugh admitted she enjoys being able to perform such scenes without pampering, or even a stunt double as a personal point of pride. "I love being able to do stuff," the "Black Widow" star told THR, going on to say, "Being able is so important. When someone comes up to you and says, 'Hey, can we shoot you getting out of a water tank 15 times while still wearing wet clothes?' you can go, 'Yeah, I can do that.'" Pugh seems to further allude that she needs to prove she's capable of such toughness as much to herself as any filmmaker or co-star, noting "I can do that, because I'm able and I'm strong."

If you've seen Pugh at work in films like "Midsommar," and "The Wonder," or even in her recent hot wings-gobbling appearance on "First We Feast," you know her physical, and emotional toughness is pretty much beyond reproach at this point in her career. Even still, it's surprising to learn she went to such dramatic lengths even for a smaller, character-driven project like "Little Women" where grueling stunt work would hardly seem part of the equation.