Florence Pugh in the Wonder

Florence Pugh Almost Questioned Her Career When TV Execs Wanted Her To Change Her Appearance

There are people in this world who still think they’re entitled to comment on women’s bodies in incredibly gross ways, and it happens too frequently to Florence Pugh. Marvel’s Yelena Belova actress has been open about how people commented on her breasts after she wore a sheer top to the Valentino fashion show, and it isn’t the first time this has happened to her.

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Recently, Pugh opened up about the fact that she almost left Hollywood after a bad experience with executives when she was cast in a pilot titled Studio City. At 19 years old, Pugh had already starred in The Falling in the U.K. and got her first pilot in the series, which was to star Eric McCormack and Heather Graham. The show obviously fell through, but Pugh is talking about how the experience left her with a bad feeling about Hollywood.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Pugh shared her joy in getting the job and how that changed when they started to demand she change things about herself. “I felt very lucky and grateful, and couldn’t believe that I had got this top-of-the-game job,” Pugh said. She continued, “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.”

And it was this experience with Studio City that almost had her leaving the industry because she didn’t have a good experience with it in the way she did with The Falling: “I’d thought the film business would be like [my experience with] ‘The Falling,’ but actually, this was what the top of the game looked like, and I felt I’d made a massive mistake.”

She went back home after the show didn’t get picked up and ended up getting Lady Macbeth, which is why Pugh had become a household name. And luckily for us all, she did the movie and fell in love with cinema again. “That made me fall back in love with cinema ― the kind of cinema that was a space where you could be opinionated, and loud, and I’ve stuck by that,” she said. “I think it’s far too easy for people in this industry to push you left and right. And I was lucky enough to discover when I was 19 what kind of a performer I wanted to be.”

Telling a woman to “change” her body to your liking is bullshit

Time and time again we hear stories like this. Those in charge hire someone and want them to lose weight, want them to get surgery or do this and that to change the way they look to be more “appealing” to them, and that’s part of the problem that has always existed in Hollywood and continues to damage society. We’re never good enough, and often the Hollywood standard of beauty is so warped and dangerous that people almost kill themselves trying to obtain it.

Pugh continues to be someone who fights for her body and doesn’t change it to fit some standard, and I love her for it.

(featured image: Aidan Monaghan/Netflix)


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Author
Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.