Within a week of one another, Florence Pugh went from “traipsing around a field in a flower crown” to “wearing as many petticoats” as she could find. That’s because she managed to squeeze both Ari Aster’s “Midsommar” and Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women” into her schedule, the two films that have helped contribute to her being the biggest breakout star of 2019.
But it almost didn’t pan out. In an interview with TheWrap, Pugh said she knew a script of Gerwig’s was circling, and she wanted to be a part of it as soon as she heard Gerwig would be filming it with both Saoirse Ronan and Timothee Chalamet. But she still took a meeting with Gerwig even though she realized that her shooting schedule conflicted with Aster’s horror film “Midsommar.”
“We were just chatting for hours, and then finally Greta says, ‘Well I’m so excited that we’re going to be working together,’ and I’m like ‘Eeh’ because I knew that both films weren’t going to work,” Pugh told TheWrap’s Beatrice Verhoeven. “But through the power of two amazing directors, they moved mountains to make this schedule work so I could come in.”
But Gerwig still asked Pugh to audition for the role of Amy March, sending in video of herself as both Amy as a younger woman and later in life. One of the scenes she did for the audition involved Amy, jealous that her sister Jo is going out for the evening and won’t bring her along, burns Jo’s only copy of Jo’s novel in progress.
“Just everything about who she is in that moment was magnificent to me,” Pugh said. “I love that age of where she is. She’s kind of in this sweet pocket of being a child and being an adult, and she doesn’t really know how to explain herself. and I just loved this entire tantrum. Even when she apologizes, it’s not really an apology. She’s just saying, ‘No, I’m going to explain to you how angry I was.'”
But despite the time crunch, Pugh said playing Amy March was “a joy” in which she was able to embrace the many layers of her own personality.
“Obviously with Saoirse who was quite happy to rattle me and wrestle me to the ground, to me that is the most exciting thing when someone wants to just play with you,” Pugh said. “There wasn’t anything I needed to go and prep myself on. I’m already a bit of a big mouth. I already love telling people what’s what. So playing Amy was a joy, because I could just let loose and be this very headstrong woman.”
“Little Women” opens in theaters Dec. 25. Watch the full video with Pugh above, and check out TheWrap’s cover story on Pugh here.