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Crying on screen is even harder than it looks. One of the defining moments in Ari Aster's 2019 horror film Midsommar featured Florence Pugh's Dani Ardor screaming and crying alongside a group of women from the Harga commune. Dani has just seen her boyfriend (Jack Reynor) having sex with another woman from the commune, and it causes all her pent-up rage and grief to come pouring out of her. The other women reflect her emotions back at her by screaming and crying as well.
In an Instagram post on Thursday, Pugh detailed how difficult the scene was to shoot and how much she appreciated her female costars. She shared a behind-the-scenes picture of her and the other actors holding each other and crying; it looks as powerful and emotional as the actual footage in the film.
"This was THE scene," Pugh wrote. "The scene which, all who were included knew exactly how many days there were until we shot it."
Pugh wrote that the picture captured the moment the first assistant director said that they had wrapped the scene.
"I've never been an actor that finds it easy to cry on camera," Pugh said. "It's something very personal to me and despite finding other aspects of acting exciting and thrilling, I find crying very scary and at some points in my career directors having to change the scene because I couldn't do it."
She continued, "on this film, in this scene, I found a true sisterhood. We all looked at each other before we started rolling and knew it would be hard. And awkward. And strange. And unnatural. We knew it wouldn't be pleasurable. But by the end we were all in each other's laps and crying and allowing our bodies to keep heaving."
Midsommar was one of three 2019 films Pugh appeared in, alongside Fighting With My Family and Little Women. Together they made quite a breakout year for her (Little Women even earned her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination). Thanks to the pandemic, 2020 didn't feature any new Pugh films, but 2021 is set to have quite a one-two punch of Black Widow and Don't Worry Darling with Harry Styles.
Read her full post above. Midsommar is currently streaming on Amazon Prime for anyone inspired to revisit after reading this emotional post.