There's a massive treat in store for action movie fans this week as Black Widow somersaults and karate kicks its way into Cineworld Cinemas (from Friday 9th July).
The 24th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) sees Scarlett Johansson reprise her role as the titular assassin – aka Natasha Romanov – in what promises to be one of the year's biggest blockbusters.
Directed by Cate Shorland (Berlin Syndrome), Black Widow follows Romanov as she's forced to confront a sinister conspiracy with ties to her past. As always, Johansson is entirely captivating as the tough-as-nails anti-hero, but she's not the only one whose performance will keep your eyes glued to the screen. The film also includes a star turn by Florence Pugh as Romanov's fellow assassin and sister figure Yelena Belova.
Since bursting onto the scene in 2014 drama The Falling, Pugh has delivered a string of exquisite performances, earning herself an Academy Award nomination in the process. So we figured it was high time we turned the spotlight on the English-born actress. Here, then, is what we consider to be Florence Pugh's most stunning work...
1. The Falling (2014)
Florence Pugh was just 18 years old when she made her movie debut as the charismatic Abbie Mortimer in Carol Morley's mystery-drama about a fainting epidemic at a girls' school. Her performance caught the eye of critics, with Tara Brady of The Irish Times hailing her "remarkable" and IndieWire's Oliver Lyttelton describing her as "striking". And it wasn't just the hacks that doffed their caps to the young starlet; Pugh was also nominated for Best British Newcomer at the BFI London Film Festival.
2. Lady Macbeth (2016)
Pugh demonstrated her confidence as an actress by taking on the tricky lead role in William Oldroyd's historical drama – an adultress/murderess who spends a large part of the movie with her clothes off. The nudity didn't bother her one bit – in fact, Pugh insists that she enjoyed it. "I loved the fact she was naked all the time," she told ES magazine. "At that point in my life, I had been made to feel shit about what I looked like and that film was perfect. There was no room for me to feel insecure."
3. Fighting With My Family (2019)
Such is Dwayne Johnson's ubiquity these days, the likelihood is that most actors and actresses will get the chance to star opposite him at some point – and Florence Pugh's turn came along in Stephen Merchant's acclaimed wrestling drama, based on the life of WWE star Saraya-Jade 'Paige' Bevis. Though some of her fighting scenes were performed by a stunt double, Pugh was once again lauded by the critics, with Geoffrey Macnab of The Independent writing that the actress had displayed "the same defiance, scruffy glamour and self-deprecating humour as the real life [...] Paige."
4. Midsommar (2019
Pugh's appearance in Ari Aster's psychedelic thriller is one we'll never forget – and not just because of the emotional authenticity the actress brought to the role. The final scene, in which her flower-clad character Dani Ardor – the commune's newly crowned May Queen – smiles at the sight of her boyfriend burning to death inside a wooden temple is one of the creepiest movie moments we've ever seen. Fascinating fact: pop songstress Ariana Grande is a fan of Midsommar and put in a bid to win the May Queen gown that Pugh wore in the movie. Sadly, she was unsuccessful.
5. Little Women (2019)
Bringing a much-loved classic to the big screen is always a gamble, but Greta Gerwig's adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's novel hit the jackpot – both commercially and critically. Despite being part of a star-studded cast that included Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Meryl Streep and Laura Dern, Pugh managed to stand out in her role as Amy March, with The Independent's Clarisse Loughrey writing that the actress "manages to steal the show". Not bad considering she had two weeks less than everyone else to rehearse due to her Midsommar commitments.