Florence Pugh Struggled with Red Carpet Attention Early in Career: ‘It Was Really Tough’

Florence Pugh had to adapt to the flurry of red carpet paparazzi.

The Oscar-nominated actress explained while in conversation with Jodie Turner-Smith for Elle UK that it took years to adjust to the pressures of premieres.

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“When I first started doing red carpets, it was really tough,” Pugh said. “It takes ages to feel comfortable with 50 men all shouting, ‘Picture, over here!’ I’ve become more confident in the last few years, and I think that’s hugely linked to the clothes I’ve been wearing. The more you can enjoy it, the more [people] can see that you’re enjoying it.”

She continued, “I think I’ve always been interested in wearing loud clothing. When I was a teenager, I would buy the most outrageous things and sew them together. I’ve always loved color. I’ve always wanted to be bold and make a bit of a scene – I don’t think that’s gone away.”

Pugh also has been outspoken about criticisms over showing her body in sheer clothing on the red carpet.

“I speak the way I do about my body because I’m not trying to hide the cellulite on my thigh or the squidge in between my arm and my boob: I would much rather lay it all out,” Pugh said. “I think the scariest thing for me are the instances where people have been upset that I’ve shown ‘too much’ of myself. When everything went down with the Valentino pink dress a year ago, my nipples were on display through a piece of fabric, and it really wound people up. It’s the freedom that people are scared of; the fact I’m comfortable and happy.”

The “Oppenheimer” actress added, “Keeping women down by commenting on their bodies has worked for a very long time. I think we’re in this swing now where lots of people are saying, ‘I don’t give a shit.’ Unfortunately, we’ve become so terrified of the human body that we can’t even look at my two little cute nipples behind fabric in a way that isn’t sexual. We need to keep remind everybody that there is more than one reason for women’s bodies [to exist]. Women were drawn to the fact that I was completely happy. That’s been a massive aspect of my career and my life: accepting who I am, and not running away from it.”

Pugh previously took to Instagram in July 2022 to address the Valentino pink dress she referenced in the Elle UK interview.

“What’s been interesting to watch and witness is just how easy it is for men to totally destroy a woman’s body, publicly, proudly, for everyone to see,” Pugh captioned at the time. “You even do it with your job titles and work emails in your bio..? It isn’t the first time and certainly won’t be the last time a woman will hear what’s wrong with her body by a crowd of strangers, what’s worrying is just how vulgar some of you men can be. It has always been my mission in this industry to say ‘fuck it and fuck that’ whenever anyone expects my body to morph into an opinion of what’s hot or sexually attractive. I wore that dress because I know. If being loudly abusive towards women publicly in 2022 is so easy for you, then the answer is that it is you who doesn’t know.”

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