Florence Pugh Claps Back At Critic For ‘Chunky Thighs’ Reference

Florence Pugh and the actual Paige at the movie premiere
Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images

British actress Florence Pugh is currently starring in Fighting With My Family, a biopic of former WWE Women’s Champion Paige. In the film, directed by Stephen Merchant, Pugh stars as Paige, the British competitor who won the championship in her first match in WWE in 2014.

Now, a review of the movie is raising eyebrows, including from the actress herself.

Charlotte O’Sullivan reviewed the film for The Evening Standard, and while the review was mostly positive about both the movie and Pugh’s performance in it, it contained a curious passage.

“Hauntingly intense in The Falling and Lady Macbeth, the 23-year-old turns out to be an effortlessly nuanced comedian. With chunky thighs. Her character is based on real-world WWE champion Paige, whose legs are significantly slimmer. How cool! So many actresses offer an idealised version of real women. Pugh is changing the ideal.”

Pugh, responding on Twitter, did not take kindly to the comment.

“Oh dear. Singling out my ‘chunky’ thighs doesn’t help normalising an ‘all shape&size’ Hollywood,” the actress said. She went on to state that people have greater takeaways from the film than “the circumference of my hams.”

Movie reviews commenting negatively on the bodies of actresses have led to controversy before, including an episode last year in which, per Refinery 29, a male critic crudely insulted the body of actress Alicia Vikander, when she starred in the rebooted Tomb Raider movie, comparing her looks negatively to those of Angelina Jolie, who played the part in the earlier Tomb Raider films.

Pugh has also starred in the 2018 TV miniseries The Little Drummer Girl, as well as the Netflix movie, The Outlaw King, in which she played the wife of Chris Pine.

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Fighting With My Family tells the story of how Paige, whose real name is Saraya-Jade Bevis, went from a family of wrestlers in small-town England to one of the stars of the WWE women’s division. It also explores her relationship with her brother, Zak (Jack Lowden), another aspiring wrestler who never made it as a pro. Nick Frost and Lena Headey play Paige’s parents, while Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who produced the film, plays himself in two scenes.

The movie, which opens in the U.K. this weekend, has been playing the U.S. since mid-February, earning a box office figure of $10.2 million, per Box Office Mojo. The film, per Rotten Tomatoes, has earned a Tomatometer score of 92 percent and an audience score of 88 percent.