Florence Pugh has reflected on Hollywood’s beauty standards, recalling the time she was told that she “needed to lose weight” for an acting role.
The 27 year old stars on the cover of Time magazine’s Next Generation Leaders issue and spoke about being drawn back to Los Angeles for the WWE film Fighting With My Family opposite Dwayne Johnson, after a producer for a pilot show that never aired had allegedly criticised her physical appearance the last time she had been in Hollywood.
In the interview, Florence said she was happy to land the role and what it represented for her appearance, as it came after a previous boss had allegedly criticised her appearance.
She revealed: “The person I came back to was a female wrestler with muscles and big thighs who made her own name as a champion. I quite liked that because the last time I’d been there I was told I needed to lose weight – it was just so not the person I wanted to be.”
In a previous interview with The Telegraph last year, Florence recounted a significant moment when she was reportedly approached about her weight. Sharing her experience with the publication, she revealed that after securing a lead role as a pop star in a TV pilot at the young age of 19, a studio boss wanted to change her appearance.
She explained: “All the things that they were trying to change about me – whether it was my weight, my look, the shape of my face, the shape of my eyebrows – that was so not what I wanted to do, or the industry I wanted to work in.”
Following the unsuccessful pickup of the pilot for the show Spin City, Florence returned to her home in England. It was there that she embarked on an audition journey that ultimately led her to secure a role in Lady Macbeth. Reflecting on her experience working on the film, Florence shared that it reignited her passion for cinema, stating: “The kind of cinema that was a space where you could be opinionated, and loud, and I’ve stuck by that.”
In a video with Vogue earlier this year, the Little Women actress also spoke out criticising everyday beauty standards, stating: “From the moment you start growing thighs and bums and boobs and all of it, everything starts changing. And your relationship with food starts changing.”
From the start of her career, Florence took a firm stance against conforming to the entertainment industry's expectations regarding her appearance.
She continued: “I had a weird chapter at the beginning of my career, but that was because I wasn’t complying. I think that was confusing to people, especially in Hollywood.
“Women in Hollywood, especially young women in Hollywood, are obviously putting themselves in all these ways in order to get whatever opportunity that they need to get because that’s just the way that it’s been.”
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