If you’ve seen Midsommar, you’ll no doubt remember the disturbing, heavily memed crying scene that takes place near the end of the film. The chilling clip – now recognised as one of the defining moments in Ari Aster’s 2019 folk-horror tale – sees Florence Pugh’s Dani unleash all her rage and grief alongside a group of women from the Harga commune.
In an Instagram post this week, Pugh shared a photo of the moment they wrapped the scene. “We all looked at each other before we started rolling and knew it would be hard. And awkward. And strange. And unnatural. We knew it wouldn’t be pleasurable,” she said. “But by the end we were all in each other’s laps and crying and allowing our bodies to keep heaving.”
She added: “I knew I would never be so open and so raw and so exhausted like I was that day ever again, I can hope at least… Scenes that make you hurt, or cringe, or turn away from the screen when watching, are scenes that were designed to make you, for ten seconds at least, the most human. But for us, it was hours. Beautiful, hard, proud hours.”
Set in a remote Swedish village, Midsommar follows four American students – including couple Dani and Christian, played by Pugh and Jack Reynor – on a trip to attend a traditional Scandinavian midsummer festival. What begins as an idyllic retreat, quickly descends into chaos as they find themselves in the midst of a bizarre and increasingly violent pagan cult.
Following on the theme of cults, Pugh is starring in Olivia Wilde’s upcoming psychological thriller, Don’t Worry Darling, alongside Harry Styles. The Booksmart director’s film takes place in an experimental utopian community gone awry in 1950s California – take a first look here.
Revisit our interview with the artist behind Midsommar’s eerie artwork.