Here’s a testament to the powers of Florence Pugh, the fast-on-the-rise British actor who stars in the WWE-produced Fighting With My Family, a biopic of professional wrestler Paige: She renders even Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson pretty much unnecessary. From A.A. Dowd’s review of the film, over at The A.V. Club:
The movie doesn’t need him. Not when it has Pugh lending bone-deep vulnerability to every moment, finding the emotional truth in a true story of rags-to-riches success. When Paige finally makes her big Raw debut, [writer-director Stephen Merchant] barely pretends to stick to script—ironically, he re-stages a staged showdown to make it look more suspenseful, and less certain in outcome, than it really was. But a little creative liberty is more than permissible. As any wrestling fan can tell you, a scene doesn’t have to be real to touch on something real.
For some, Fighting With My Family will be an introduction to Pugh. She’s great, huh? But if you’re lucky enough to have caught some of the other performances she’s given in her relatively young career, then this is all old news. She’s incredible in 2016's Lady Macbeth, a standout in AMC’s 2018 miniseries The Little Drummer Girl, the best part of the otherwise lukewarm The Outlaw King (I fully anticipate all your jokes about the actual best part of The Outlaw King, and you’re welcome for the setup), and she’s even a bright spot in the Liam-Neeson-beats-a-dude-with-a-guitar movie The Commuter. And this year, she’ll appear in Ari Aster’s Hereditary followup and in the Greta Gerwig Little Women adaptation that’s headed our way.
She’s busy, that’s the short version. All that, and learning how to do a bunch of pro-wresting stuff, too. Yet somehow she found time to tell us whether or not a hot dog is a sandwich.
A quick note: This interview is even better if you imagine in in a very elegant British accent. Think Downton Abbey.
The Takeout: Is a hot dog a sandwich?
Florence Pugh: Oh my god, I didn’t think about that before.
TO: It’s strange, right?
FP: But is a bagel a sandwich?
TO: I don’t know.
FP: Or is a bagel a bagel? Is it its own food? I think it’s its own food.
TO: So if a bagel is a bagel—
FP: Then a hot dog has to be a hot dog. That’s my backup.