2020 was a big year for florence pugh, and her career has only grown. After breakout roles in Midsommar and Little Women (for which she earned an Oscar nomination) and a spirited performance as Yelena Belova in Black Widow, Pugh is one of Hollywood’s hottest young stars, with roles in Don’t Worry, Honey and The dunes sequel is coming.
less is known about the star are the details of her love life and the more than two years she spent dating scrubs star zach braff, who is 21 years her senior. While Pugh revealed in September 2022 that they had quietly split months earlier, the two were a serious couple and even adopted a dog together during quarantine.
Here’s everything we know about their love story, from start to finish along with the friendship that endures.
in the fall of 2018, braff started liking pugh’s photos on instagram. this could have been around the time she cast her in her 2019 short film in the time it takes her to get there or an early indicator of her relationship.
collider.com reported that braff and pugh were circling the movie the secret ingredients of arugula cola. braff was attached to direct the project with pugh in the lead role, although the title can no longer be found on any of his imdb pages.
at the beginning of April, in the time it takes to arrive it is released. In the project, made for Adobe Cloud from the idea of a design competition winner, Pugh plays a 19th-century influencer. She co-stars with Alicia Silverstone (no idea), who works for the young mogul.
on april 12, pugh and braff were seen strolling through new york city hand in hand, by e!. The relationship came about after Braff’s 2014 split from model Taylor Bagley after five years of dating.
Braff shared a photo of himself with Toby Sebastian, a musician, Game of Thrones actor, and Pugh’s older brother. “# cheers # 🇬🇧”, he captioned a selfie of the couple toasting with glasses of wine to the camera.
pugh’s debut on braff’s feed came with quite a bit of feeling. she can be seen in a group photo captioned “people i love”. Emmy winner Julia Garner commented on the post, “Love @florencepugh too! ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️”
That same month, Page Six captured the couple at a whole foods run in Hollywood. A source told the outlet: “It was very clear to me that they are a couple.”
technically, their debut as an instagram couple occurred the following month. In Braff’s post, the couple could be seen with a group visiting Disneyland.
pugh and braff also performed at the l.a. marriage story premiere on November 5, although they were not photographed together.
Braff and Pugh attended the New York premiere of their film Little Women separately, once again robbing us of an official joint red carpet appearance.
on december 28th, pugh gave the world a belated christmas gift: a confirmation of the relationship and a round of applause all rolled into one. “First pit stop, matzah ball soup. #curetingjetlag101,” she captioned a photo of herself posing outside a restaurant in Los Angeles. cold cuts braff responded to the photo with the princess emoji. One commenter responded to Braff’s emoji by writing “You’re 44 years old.” Pugh, then 23, replied: “and yet he understood it👌🏽”.
On January 11, people spotted the couple driving from a date at San Vicente Bungalows, a private social club in Los Angeles.
days later, pugh was nominated for best supporting actress at the 2020 oscars. braff seemed to play a big part in the day. she posted two photos of herself upon learning of the nomination in bed where she appears to be naked. (Many assumed that Braff took the photos.)
later that day, braff posted a photo of pugh doing her hair and makeup to her instagram story with the caption “fuck it!”
People also got photos of the couple celebrating Pugh’s nomination with a kiss as she clutched a bottle of champagne.
pugh attended the academy awards on february 9 with his parents by his side. (No red carpet debut as a couple this time!) But Braff documented the actress’s pre-award show rituals on her Instagram stories.
People spotted the couple taking extra precautions while walking in Los Angeles during the coronavirus pandemic. Both Braff and Pugh can be seen wearing gloves while shopping. According to the outlet, Pugh arrived at the store on the back of Braff’s motorcycle.
A few days later, Braff announced on Instagram that he and former Scrubs co-star Donald Faison would be launching a weekly recap podcast titled Fake Doctors Real Friends of Zach + Donald. “wooooooo!!!! 👌🏽🤟🏼🍕🙃,” Pugh commented on his boyfriend’s post.
Fans noticed that Pugh and Braff appeared to be raising a dog together during the coronavirus quarantine. On April 2, they both posted about a puppy they’re raising named Billie, crediting the Los Angeles-based animal rescue organization Labelle Foundation in their posts. On April 9, Braff confirmed in a post that he and Pugh had officially adopted Billie.
On Braff’s birthday, Pugh made their relationship Instagram official. she shared the first photo of him alone on her instagram since they started dating. In her caption, she wrote to him, “Today we’re going to smile more than the clouds are gray. April 6th and we’re celebrating so much! Happy birthday wishes, boogies and cheers for this special someone. Pop those bubbles and get moving! ! “
as soon as the couple went ‘gram official, pugh disabled comments on the post and shared a 4-minute video defending his relationship with braff. “I’m 24 years old,” she said. “I don’t need you to tell me who I should and shouldn’t love. And I would never in my life tell anyone who they can or can’t love. It’s not your place. And really, it has nothing to do with you. So if those rules are something you don’t like, then unfollow me because the abuse you’re throwing at him is the abuse you’re throwing at me.”
ariana grande was one of the high-profile celebrities who publicly endorsed pugh’s statement. “‘being hateful is not in style’ a new tattoo for my chest. oh i love and appreciate you so much,” she commented large on the post. she also shared the video on her instagram story, writing, “beautifully crafted and deeply appreciated. sharing special things from personal life that make you happy online can be really traumatic. i know i took a step back doing it.” . to protect myself and my loved ones but just wanted to share this and let you know how perfectly you put it and how much appreciated you are for doing so @florencepugh.”
The following month, Pugh opened up about her and Braff’s age difference and relationship again for the cover of Elle UK. She said giving back to the trolls and defending their romance was “necessary,” adding, “because people need to realize that it’s hurtful. I have the right to hang out, hang out, and date whoever I want. “
pugh also addressed the idea that people have a right to know about their personal lives. “I’m an actor because I like acting, and I don’t mind people seeing my stuff, but people don’t have the right to educate me about my private life,” he told the outlet. “I know that part of being in the spotlight is that people can invade your privacy and have opinions about it, but it’s strange that normal people are allowed to show so much hate and opinions about a part of my life that I’m not putting it out there. it’s a weird side of fame that thousands of people let you tear yourself apart even though you didn’t put that part of yourself out there.”
He concluded his comments by saying: “I don’t want to talk about it because it’s not something I want to bring up, but my point in all this is that it’s not strange that a stranger can completely destroy someone’s relationship, and is it allowed? “
over the summer, braff shared a photo of pugh in the movie that featured them. “a still from the short film i wrote and directed with @aliciasilverstone and @florencepugh filmed by the legendary @mauro_fiore_link in my bio ⬆️”, he captioned the snapshot.
pugh honored the birthday of the late broadway actor nick cordero on september 17th. Cordero, who died of complications from Covid-19 in July, was a close friend of Braff’s. she shared several photos of herself with lamb, including one that showed her snuggling up with braff and lamb on the couch.
“So, this amazing man turns 42 today,” he began his tribute. “nick was the first to welcome me into this friendship group, he had a big grin that makes you fall in love with him, even if he hasn’t said anything yet.” Pugh also wrote, “I’d find zach and nick snuggling up on the couch at the end of so many parties, he looked so comfy it’d be hard not to join in,” ending the post with, “happy birthday darling we’re having a mighty cheese board with all chutneys and condiments in your honor. we’re thinking of you. ‘we love you to infinity and beyond!’@nickcordero1 @amandakloots.”
in an interview with mr. porter, braff shied away from discussing his relationship with pugh. However, she opened up about her defense of him on Instagram. “He literally sat down, hit record on his phone and said that,” he recalled. “I thought, how could I go on with something as smart and articulate as that? So I decided against it.”
The start of a new year meant a rare instagram tribute from braff to pugh. In honor of his 25th birthday, he shared several photos of Pugh, writing: “Happy birthday to the funniest person I’ve ever met. I would have been blessed to have smiled with you for one night. I can’t believe I laugh with you every day. What a pleasure it is to meet you. What a gift to the world it was that you were born.”
pugh shared braff’s post to his instagram story and captioned it with a single heart emoji.
for braff’s birthday, pugh shared a heartfelt tribute on instagram for him. the post offered a rare look at their relationship, more than a year into the coronavirus pandemic.
In Elle UK’s June cover story, Pugh indirectly referred to his relationship with Braff and the fact that people criticize his 21-year age gap with the actor.
“I have the right to hang out, be and hang out with whoever I want,” he told the magazine. “I’ve always found this part of what people do really weird. I’m an actor because I like to act and I don’t mind people seeing my stuff, but people don’t have the right to educate me about my private life.”
in an interview with the sunday times, pugh spoke about what he has observed about his critics.
“I think it bothers people that it’s not who they expected,” he said. “But it’s my life and I’m not doing anything to please people or make a better headline or story. I want to be a person too!”
“It’s very strange for me to go to someone’s page and shit on it,” he said, referring to trolls. “That is not my nature: to go and intimidate for the sake of intimidation. it’s such a weird thing that we’ve felt good about in the last ten years of social media. the thing is, people want instagram to be a nicer place, they want to see pretty things. they want to be inspired and they want to be happy. I don’t care if you don’t like it, that’s absolutely fine. in which case don’t follow me.”
Following the release of black widow, braff took to his instagram to share a unique gift he gave pugh in honor of her performance as natasha romanoff’s little sister, yelena belova. Go see “Black Widow” this weekend and watch @florencepugh save the world! I commissioned this painting from legendary comic book artist and painter @philnoto. (Russian says “widow”),” Braff wrote alongside the post. The one-of-a-kind painting of her is of Yelena, apparently the next Black Widow, in full costume, wearing her favorite vest and holding two pistols in her hands.
For Pugh’s 26th birthday on January 3, Braff posted a heartfelt tribute story on Instagram that offers a rare look at their relationship and everything he thinks about it.
“Happy birthday to this beautiful human being. I am so lucky to know you. and the world is so lucky to get to witness your incredible talent. @florencepugh.”
pugh marked braff’s 47th birthday by sharing an instagram story to celebrate. “Happy birthday Zachary,” she wrote, posting three photos of Braff with her dog, per page six.
In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Pugh revealed that she and Braff quietly broke up in early 2022. She did not indicate when exactly their romance ended, but she did address why they chose to keep the news under wraps. themselves.
“We’ve been trying to do this separation without the world knowing about it, because it’s been a relationship that everyone has an opinion about,” Pugh said. “We just feel like something like this would really benefit us from not having millions of people telling us how happy they are that we’re not together. so we’ve done that. I automatically get a lump in my throat when I talk about it.”
months after their breakup, braff indicated that he and pugh were still on good terms when he posted a tribute to his ex on his instagram story to mark his 27th birthday on january 3. “Happy birthday, legend”, he wrote to him. , tagging her in the post.
Their post comes just weeks after Pugh shared the first photo and trailer for his upcoming film A Good Person, which Braff directed and starred in.