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Florence Pugh: My First Hollywood TV Show Told Me to Change ‘the Shape of My Face’

"That was so not what I wanted to do, or the industry I wanted to work in," Pugh said of the 2015 failed Fox pilot "Studio City."

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 07: Florence Pugh attends "The Wonder" UK premiere during the 66th BFI London Film Festival at The Royal Festival Hall on October 07, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for BFI)

Florence Pugh

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images f

It’s a wonder that Florence Pugh even returned to Hollywood after a bad experience on a botched Fox sitcom.

“The Wonder” actress Pugh was cast in the pilot for Fox’s “Studio City” dramedy in 2015 when she was 19. Directed by Sanaa Hamri and written by Krista Vernoff, the semi-autobiographical series centered on a singer (Pugh) who discovers her songwriter father (Eric McCormack) is a celebrity drug dealer. Heather Graham also starred as Pugh’s former stepmother.

“I felt very lucky and grateful, and couldn’t believe that I had got this top-of-the-game job,” Pugh recently recalled to The Telegraph, citing that she assumed her Los Angeles TV series experience would be similar to that of U.K. psychological drama “The Falling,” on which she made her onscreen debut in 2013.

“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,” Pugh said of “Studio City.”

People working on the Fox series told Pugh to drastically alter her appearance, including losing weight for the role.

“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 said.

The pilot was not picked up for series, and Pugh went back to her native England assuming her career was over. Yet just two weeks later, she was cast in “Lady Macbeth,” which “made me fall back in love with cinema, the kind of cinema that was a space where you could be opinionated and loud.”

The Oscar nominee continued, “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.”

For all of Pugh’s upcoming projects in the works, ranging from the star-studded “Oppenheimer” to “Dune: Part Two,” click here.

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