Happy 26th birthday to Florence Pugh! Come for the consistently bonkers acting skills, stay for the baking videos — Florence is a joy to behold no matter the project. Over the past few years, Pugh has proven that she can truly do it all, knocking it out of the park in indie darlings and massive blockbusters alike.
After a critical breakthrough in 2016, Florence starred in three major, wildly different releases in 2019, and has only continued to captivate the screen since. It’s clear that there’s so much more in store from the actress, but, in the meantime, we’ve rounded up five of her best roles so far.
— Mary Siroky
05. Lady Macbeth (2016)
This 2016 film was a turning point for Pugh. Her brooding performance in the titular role caught the attention of many directors, setting her on the bright upward trajectory we still see her on today. Rightly so, too — her turn as a young, unhappy wife who eventually turns violent was the kind of performance that usually comes from an actor much more experienced. It’s no wonder Pugh shines when acting opposite young actors who often earn the same kind of praise, like Timothée Chalamet and Saoirse Ronan. — M.S.
04. Black Widow (2021)
Black Widow was Marvel’s grand cinematic foray into Phase 4 of the MCU, and though it garnered mixed results, Pugh’s introduction as Natasha Romanoff’s sister Yelena was a breath of fresh air. Playing deftly off David Harbour and Rachel Weisz, Pugh’s comedic chops are on full display in the film, even through the character’s thick Russian dialect.
Her subsequent appearance as Yelena in the recently-released Hawkeye TV show was even more lovely, particularly in her scenes opposite Hailee Steinfeld. Pugh has proven time and again now that she can play serious, so when she loosens up and has some fun as Yelena, it’s even more gratifying. — Paolo Ragusa