White Lotus star Haley Lu Richardson passed on ‘disturbing’ role before it eventually went to Florence Pugh

·2-min read

Haley Lu Richardson revealed that she was originally approached to star in the “disturbing” movie that eventually became one of Florence Pugh’s most iconic roles.

The White Lotus star had just finished M Night Shyamalan’s 2016 Split when she said she was given the script for Ari Aster’s Nordic thriller Midsommar.

“I remember reading it; it was such a well-written, creepy script,” Richardson said on the latest episode of In the Envelope: The Actor’s Podcast. “I actually still haven’t seen the movie because I kind of can’t bring myself to watch it. They wanted to meet me....”

Richardson explained that she “didn’t want to do another movie” because she “didn’t have it in me, going around and crying at these disturbing things”.

“It wasn’t something that I wanted, and I felt really strongly about that. So I didn’t even take the meeting,” she added.

The role later went to Pugh, who starred as Dani, one-half of a dysfunctional couple who travel to Sweden for a midsummer festival that devolves into a bizarre and violent competition at the hands of a Pagan cult.

Asked whether she regretted turning “a pretty iconic movie”, Richardson said she believes “everything happens the way that it’s supposed to”.

Florence Pugh in ‘Midsommar’ (A24)
Florence Pugh in ‘Midsommar’ (A24)

“There was a reason I didn’t have it in me. And also, Florence Pugh is just such a good actor,” she lauded.

Earlier this year, Richardson did admit that one show she’d love to be a part of is Love Island.

“For a day, just to see what it’s like and if anyone would like me,” she said in an interview on the red carpet at the February SAG Awards.

Her down-to-earth answer drew enormous fan praise. “She’s so real for that,” one person commented. Another wrote: “I love her for this.”

Someone else noted that her answer was “very relatable”, while a fourth person said: “Haley is for the people, I love her so much.”