Florence Pugh in Black Widow
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Credit: Marvel Studios

Florence Pugh is the stay-at-home hero we need right now

Contributed by
Apr 10, 2020

In a cruel twist of fate, Black Widow fans are being forced to wait even longer to see the super-spy get her solo due on the big screen, thanks to this coronavirus outbreak.

Are there things more important than fictional female characters kicking ass, taking names, and having tense family reunions with their unique clan of fellow assassins? Of course. We know that the real heroes are the healthcare workers currently fighting on the front lines without proper protective equipment. We know that the true badasses are the delivery drivers, postal workers, grocery store clerks, janitors, and all the other essential employees risking their lives.

But we also know that escapism is sometimes the best way to cope with a crisis, and the fact that we can't check out for a couple of hours in a darkened movie theater, watching Natasha Romanoff gain a sense of closure and Black Widow gain the ending she deserved on screen, is a hard pill to swallow. Fans have waited years for Marvel to put some respect on their once-lone female heroine's name, and it looks like we'll be waiting a bit longer because of this global pandemic — and our own abysmal healthcare system.

Still, there's some good news, a balm to soothe the bedsores that come with spending billions of hours sitting on the couch, mindlessly streaming The Office episodes, and her name is Florence Pugh.

We won't see the Oscar-nominated actress suit up as Yelena in the Cait Shortland-directed action flick until later this year, but Pugh's crafting her own superhero alter ego during this social distancing lockdown over on Instagram, giving us foodie-inspired content that will nourish and sustain us in these terrifying times.

Pugh's been serving up recipes, dance videos, and some encouraging words of wisdom from her grandmother over on Instagram since the shutdown began. Pugh kicked things off with a lighthearted Instagram story a couple of weeks ago featuring the actress rocking out to a smash by the band The War on Drugs. It marked the beginning of her crusade of positivity on this happiness-sucking monster we call corona:

After a few days absent from social media, Pugh returned to address our collective anxiety over this pandemic, revealing that her dad gave her some great advice: Do things that bring you joy. And what brings Florence Pugh joy? Food.

We should've known that after her taste-testing Vogue cover story; anyone who can stomach 12 courses of quintessential English dishes like black pudding, Cornish pasties, and Victorian sponge cakes is a proven foodie, but Pugh proved she's got real skill in the kitchen when creating a ratatouille that combined all of the veggies that were starting to go bad in her kitchen. Not only did she create something truly mouthwatering, she also advocated for a zero-waste lifestyle and taught us how to properly chop an onion. A conscientious queen:

For the next episode of her unofficial Instagram cooking show, Pugh gave us a lesson in self-care with a delicious accompaniment of some summer squash soup. While brutally knifing said veggie, Pugh explained how she fends off panic during this crisis by keeping to her normal weekday routine. What is Florence Pugh's normal weekday routine? Probably producing a full-on feast for each meal? Who really knows.

Pugh would then go on to tackle one of the most difficult cooking challenges ever seen in social-media tutorial form: browned bread. (Browned bread is, in fact, toast.)

For her final act (so far), Pugh gave us some self-care directives while tossing a tuna medley salad. Mixed in with some garlic, carrot shavings, and chickpeas was Pugh's insistence that we not guilt-trip ourselves for slowing down and being unproductive. If you haven't written that novel or started that new workout regimen, don't beat yourself up about it. But do try your hand at crafting this fresh-looking dish:

We talked about escapes earlier, the kind of entertaining distractions that TV and film often give us. They're still great options, even now when we're all confined to our own homes, but what Pugh's doing with her social media is also a kind of escape and a means of connection. Get out of your head and cook, create, build something with your hands — we prefer food because once you’ve finished molding and sauteeing and stirring, you get to eat it. And if tuning in to Instagram stories or TikToks or YouTube tutorials satisfies your need for human interaction, if it makes you feel less alone, well, then may we suggest starting with Florence Pugh's videos?

The woman has a gift.

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