Culture

Florence Pugh on Her ‘Very New’ Zach Braff Breakup and Their Private Love Story

Florence Pugh is ready to talk a little more about her love story ex-boyfriend Zach Braff…and how she’s figuring things out amid their “very new” breakup. Pugh appeared on the cover of Vogue, where she discussed what their dynamic was really like, and how criticism of their 21-year age gap was far from their reality.

Braff and Pugh have a project coming out together, A Good Person, and Braff spoke glowingly about Pugh to the outlet, too, revealing how highly he thinks of her. Braff recently made headlines for sharing a birthday tribute to Pugh on his Instagram.

Pugh now has a place in South London but lived with Braff before in Los Angeles. She is still figuring out whether she’ll get her own place in the California city. “It’s all very new,” she said of what happened to her and Braff. “My breakup has been very new, so I’m figuring that out.” She did not specify when the split happened or why.

The pair met through friends and kept their relationship largely private when it was ongoing, except when they’d share photos of each other on their Instagrams from time to time. Pugh said she hasn’t forgotten some commenter’s cruel remarks about their dating because of Braff being older. “We weren’t in anyone’s faces. It was just that people didn’t like it,” she said. “They imagined me with someone younger and someone in blockbusters. I think young relationships in Hollywood are so easily twisted because they add to the gossip sites. It’s exciting to watch. And I think I was in a relationship that didn’t do any of that.”

Now, Pugh is back in England, being the London girl she always saw herself more as and learning more about what she wants next: “You know, you have a daydream when you start out: What is it that means you’ve made it? What is it that means you are an adult?” she said. “And for me it was: You live close to your friends and you have a local pub. And because I didn’t do that when I was young, because I didn’t go to university, it meant that for all of my adult years of working and my adult years living abroad, I still, in my mind, hadn’t got all the pieces together.”

Braff, for his part, had nothing but positive things to say about Pugh. “I quite simply think she’s one of the greatest actors of her generation,” he said. “She’s just magnetic. You cannot take your eyes off of her. And it’s not just her beauty and it’s not just her acting ability, it’s that thing, that magic thing that transcends the screen, where anyone and everyone goes: I want to see whatever this person does.”

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Senior News and Strategy Editor

Alyssa Bailey is the senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring New York City.