Florence Pugh has a wonderful Instagram. It’s so joyous and delightful. Having a wonderful Instagram is so hard to pull off right now, especially for someone of her stature. Somehow the combination of her fresh face in her rarified world, her tone, her accent (??), her extensive work in period dramas, and her off-the-cuff-seeming cooking videos makes the bitter pill of her extremely nice quarantine setup a little easier to swallow over here in a sixth-floor walkup, no yard.
Unfortunately, that could all be over. On April 6, she posted a photo of Zach Braff, the man she is dating and quarantining with in what is likely his home. He was laying on a dog who was laying on a couch and it was his birthday. He turned 45 years old. What ensued was a torrent of mean comments about them as a couple. It got so bad that Pugh eventually shut off those comments.
The source of the anger is difficult to pinpoint. He is much older than she is, which is certainly a focus. But more so, I think, there was a general Braff weariness in the world before anyone even knew for sure how to pronounce “Pugh.” It’s unclear why, as it often is when the the sun sets on a celebrity’s popularity. Something about how he was a poster boy for “manic pixie dream girl” films, so popular in and around 2004 when Garden State, a film Braff wrote and directed, came out, and Pugh was eight years old. It’s possible we have not, as a culture, forgiven Braff for that.
But in the words of someone very wise, “I will be very mad if those people still holding a grudge against Garden State ruin Florence Pugh’s Instagram.”
Whether Pugh will now back off on her Instagram remains to be seen, but she’s certainly not letting her relationship detractors have the last word. As if to prove that she has earned every one of her 24 years, she scolded her followers in a video published on her account on Wednesday. She mentioned that she’s been paying taxes since she was 18, six years ago, and that she can make her own decisions. She expressed disappointment in her followers and Instagram interlopers who found her account. She invited the haters to disengage with her. She reaffirmed her disappointment.
There must be an adult in the room, even online, I suppose, and this time it was Florence Pugh. She’s mommy now, and frankly, during trying times, we especially need mommy.