The 26-year-old actress started her career at 17 in The Falling in 2014 which she described as a “complete right-place-right-time fluke.”
After her onscreen debut, she went to Los Angeles and auditioned with networks looking for new stars to cast in their upcoming shows. She landed a role on Studio City when she was 19.
She shared to the outlet, “I felt very lucky and grateful, and couldn’t believe that I had got this top-of-the-game job.” However, execs asked her to change her appearance.
“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,” Pugh revealed.
The Don’t Worry Darling actress realized that her experience in school play and audition didn’t prepare her for the industry. She said, “I’d thought the film business would be like [my experience of making] The Falling, but actually, this was what the top of the game looked like, and I felt I’d made a massive mistake.”
After the show wasn’t picked up, the actress decided to go back to England and auditioned for Lady Macbeth and it landed her a role which garnered rave reviews for her performance.
She recalled, “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. 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.”
“There’s nothing glamorous about it, and I think that’s what I love,” she continued. “When I get to be completely raw, that’s when I feel like I can really be watched.”
According to the actress, she loves taking in roles that showcase her acting, saying, “When I could be naked at whatever size I was, and bare-faced, and the acting could speak for itself. There’s nothing for people to be distracted by: they can’t be like, ‘Oh, I don’t like the make-up’. It was a wonderful reminder: ‘Oh, yeah — this is who you are.’ “
Pugh stars in Netflix’s period drama-thriller, The Wonder, which tells the story of an English nurse named Lib Wright who unlocks the mystery behind the case of an 11-year-old girl who hasn’t eaten in four months. It will be available for streaming on Netflix on November 16.