Zach Braff Says He's in 'Awe' of Ex Florence Pugh's Talent: She's a 'Next-Level Actress'
Cindy Ord/Getty Images; Cindy Ord/Getty Images Florence Pugh; Zach Braff
Zach Braff is praising his ex Florence Pugh for her acting chops.
The Cheaper by the Dozen actor, 47, revealed in a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight that the actress was one of the inspirations behind his latest film A Good Person due in part to her "talent."
"I'm just in awe of her talent and I said, 'I wanna write this for Florence. What I'm writing is really gonna be challenging, and she's incredible,' " he said, adding that Pugh, 27, is "a next-level actress" and "just unbelievable."
Braff told the outlet that he "couldn't have written the part for myself," and explained that "it wasn't for your average actors."
"I wanted to write something for her and I had this image in my mind of that diner-booth scene and I thought of Florence Pugh opposite some legend that everyone's talking about," he added.
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Jeong Park / Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures Florence Pugh and Morgan Freeman in A Good Person (2023)
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The film stars Pugh and Morgan Freeman as Allison and Daniel, who befriend one another after Allison's involvement in "an unimaginable tragedy that [takes Daniel's] daughter's life," according to an official synopsis.
The pair "discover that friendship, forgiveness and hope can flourish in unlikely places" as Daniel embarks on raising a teenage granddaughter and Allison seeks to put her life back together.
Braff — who said the story was also inspired by the death of his close friend Nick Cordero during the COVID-19 pandemic — noted that both Pugh and Freeman, 85, had the experience to pull off a challenging story.
"They both know when the cameras are on them, how little they can do and it will come across," he explained to ET. "It's just fascinating. So many actors, including myself, think you have to do so much, but you watch Florence and Morgan and they can just do a subtle turn of the head and it's brilliant."
RELATED VIDEO: Florence Pugh and Zach Braff Support Each Other on Red Carpet for Their Film A Good Person After Breakup
This isn't the first time Braff has raved about his actors in the film — particularly Pugh, whom he split from last year.
He said in an interview with Collider last year that the Oscar nominee gave an "unbelievable" performance in her role as Allison.
"Florence Pugh's performance in the movie, I know I'm biased, but it's the most miraculous thing you will ever see," the Garden State filmmaker said. "I know that anything Florence does is incredible."
Braff added, "People say she's maybe the best actress of her generation. I think she's one of the best actresses working. This performance she gives is unbelievable."
Braff and Pugh dated after connecting on social media and were first spotted showing PDA during a trip to New York City in April 2019. The two kept their relationship relatively private until their split, which Pugh revealed in a story for Harper's BAZAAR's September 2022 issue.
Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock From left: Florence Pugh, Zoe Lister-Jones, Molly Shannon and Zach Braff
RELATED: Florence Pugh and Zach Braff's Relationship Timeline
In an interview with Vogue earlier this year, Pugh further elaborated on the reasons for the breakup, saying that the public "imagined me with someone younger and someone in blockbusters."
"I automatically get a lumpy throat when I talk about it," she added of the split at the time.
But the two have appeared to remain on friendly terms, with the former Scrubs star having wished Pugh a happy birthday in January.
Earlier this month, Braff and Pugh appeared together at the U.K. premiere of A Good Person at the Ham Yard Hotel in London. The former couple appeared to support one another, smiling and posing for photos together on the red carpet.
Braff was also photographed with the Don't Worry Darling actress's parents and grandmother this past Saturday in New York City, where they enjoyed a meal out together.
A Good Person is in select theaters March 24, and everywhere March 31.