Zach Braff is opening up about how Florence Pugh inspired his upcoming film A Good Person.
“I’m just in awe of her talent and I said, ‘I wanna write this for Florence. What I’m writing is really gonna be challenging and she’s incredible,’” he told Entertainment Tonight during an interview published online Monday.
The actor-producer-director explained that he knew the Don’t Worry Darling star, whom he dated for three years before breaking up earlier in 2022, was meant for the role of Allison from the start. “She’s a next-level actress. I mean, she’s just unbelievable and what I was writing was gonna be really challenging,” Braff said. “It wasn’t for your average actors — I couldn’t have written the part for myself. I wanted to write something for her and I had this image in my mind of that diner booth scene and I thought of Florence Pugh opposite some legend that everyone’s talking about.”
While talking about the film on Monday’s episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the Midsommar actress said, “There’s so much ease with reading a script when someone knows how you talk and how far they can push you and what you’re capable of doing, so it was just a joy. So much fun.”
The legendary actor who ended up playing opposite Pugh was Morgan Freeman. Braff said although the Oscar-winning actor typically “doesn’t usually do independent movies,” or “movies that have no financing yet,” he decided to send him the script anyway.
“I thought, ‘Oh gosh that’s gonna take two weeks to read and then we’re gonna get a no,’” he recalled. “[But] he called me the next day and he said he didn’t even say hello! Florence held up the phone and it said Morgan Freeman on it. And he didn’t even say hi, I picked it up and he goes, ‘I see myself on every page of this script.’ And I was like, ‘Does that mean yes?’ And then he was like, ‘That means yes.’”
The drama follows Allison (Pugh), a young woman who was thriving in life when everything takes a turn when she survives an unimaginable tragedy and becomes addicted to opioids. In the years that follow, she forms an unlikely friendship with her would-be father-in-law, Daniel (Freeman) and he helps her put her life back together.
Braff also explained that he experienced quite a bit of loss over the last several years, including his sister, father and a close friend, and that played a role when it came to writing the film.
A Good Person hits theaters on March 24.