Florence Pugh “abused [herself]” to get into character for ‘Midsommar’.
The 27-year-old actress portrayed grieving student Dani, who psychologically breaks down during a trip to Sweden with her toxic boyfriend, in the 2019 horror and she admitted she deliberately put herself in “really s***** situations” to push herself to the limits and make things feel as “bleak” as possible.
speaking to James Acaster and Ed Gamble on the ‘Off Menu’ podcast, she said: “When I did it, I was so wrapped up in her and I’ve never had this ever before with any of my characters.
“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.
“Each day the content would be getting more weird and harder to do. 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.”
After shooting wrapped on the project, Florence went straight to Boston to shoot ‘Little Women’ and she recalled a weird feeling of “guilt” as to the state she had left her ‘Midsommar’ character in.
She said: “I remember looking [out the plane] and feeling immense guilt because I felt like I’d left [Dani] in that field in that state.
“It’s so weird. I’ve never had that before…Obviously, that’s probably a psychological thing where I felt immense guilt of what I’d put myself through but I definitely felt like I’d left her there in that field to be abused…almost like I’d created this person and then I just left her there to go and do another movie.”
Florence previously praised director Ari Aster for his Relationship with the cast during the shooting of ‘Midsommar’, describing him as “peculiar in a mad genius kind of way” and keen to make everyone laugh.
She told the New York Times newspaper: “Once you laugh at one thing, he will try and make you laugh at all the other things. He’ll keep going and everybody will be crying in fits of laughter.
“We were shooting in a very hot field with three different languages, so I wouldn’t say that all of it was pleasurable. Also, it shouldn’t be. Why would making a movie like that be pleasurable?”