Florence Pugh and Zach Braff's Three-Year Relationship Faced Intense Criticism

Allison DeGrushe - Author

Mar. 23 2023, Published 2:52 p.m. ET

Florence Pugh and Zach Braff
Source: Getty Images

From 2019-2022, the world couldn't stop bashing Florence Pugh and Zach Braff's relationship.

The couple faced severe backlash due to their 21-year age difference, and sadly, it seems the negative perception surrounding their romance got to them because they called it quits early last year. Nevertheless, the two are proving they're friendly exes while promoting their new movie, A Good Person.

Ahead of the film's release, let's look back at Florence and Zach's relationship timeline.

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August 2018: Zach Braff tweets about Florence Pugh.

The actor and filmmaker first expressed his admiration for Florence via Twitter, writing in a since-deleted tweet, "I watched an incredible film last night that I cannot stop thinking about: Lady Macbeth starring @Florence_Pugh. Beautifully directed, shot, acted, etc. It's very upsetting, so be forewarned. Florence is a movie star."

Around this time, the pair began regularly interacting via liking each other's Instagram posts.

January 2019: Zach travels to Florence's hometown of Oxford, England.

Zach visited Florence's hometown, which led many to speculate the two were dating (albeit they weren't spotted together).

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March 2019: Zach and Florence work together on 'In the Time It Takes to Get There.'

After several months of social media interactions, Zach and Florence had the chance to work together on their short film, In the Time It Takes to Get There. The film, which Zach directed and Florence starred in as part of a collaboration with Adobe, premiered on YouTube on April 3, 2019.

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April 2019: Zach and Florence are spotted holding hands in NYC.

Later that month, the Little Women actress was spotted holding hands with the Scrubs star during a trip to NYC. The two hadn't yet confirmed their relationship, but those photos were proof enough that they were at least more than friends.

October 2019: Zach hints at his romance with Florence on Instagram.

Zach hinted at his romance with Florence on Instagram, captioning a photo of her and his friends, "People I love."

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November 2019: The couple shares their first photo together on social media.

After that subtle (and sweet) post, Zach and Florence shared their first photo together on Instagram during a trip to Disneyland with friends. The pair still hadn't confirmed their relationship, but come on, they went Instagram official!

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December 2019: Florence confirms her relationship with Zach.

By the end of the year, Florence finally confirmed her relationship with Zach after he left a princess emoji in the comments section of an Instagram post of her posing in front of Greenblatt's Delicatessen Restaurant in Los Angeles. One of Florence's followers replied, "You're 44 years old," and the Midsommar actress clapped back, "And yet he got it."

January 2020: Zach and Florence celebrate her Oscar nomination with a kiss.

After celebrating her Oscar nomination for best supporting actress during a press day for Little Women, the English actress was photographed running into Zach's arms and sharing a kiss before heading elsewhere.

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April 6, 2020: Florence pays tribute to Zach on his birthday.

To commemorate his 45th birthday, Florence shared a photo of Zach cuddling with his dog on Instagram. She wrote, "Today we shall smile wider than the clouds are grey. April 6th, and we're celebrating hard! Happy Birthday wishes, boogies, and cheers for this special person. Raise those bubbles and jiggle!"

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April 8, 2020: Florence claps back at the critics of her and Zach's age difference.

Just two days after his birthday, Florence fired back at the "fans" who criticized her and Zach's age difference.

In a video posted to her Instagram, the Oscar-nominated actress called out the "abuse" and "bullying," stating that she will not allow toxic behavior on her page. She said, "I am 24 years old. ... I do not need you to tell me who I should and should not love and I would never in my life tell anyone who they can and cannot love."

Florence continued: "It is not your place and really it has nothing to do with you. ... The abuse you throw at him is abuse you throw at me, and I do not want those followers. I do not want to have to be protecting my comments every time I post a picture of him. I really hope that I can continue this relationship with a lot of you."

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April 9, 2020: The pair adopt a dog together.

A day later, Florence and Zach announced they were foster fails and adopted a dog named Billie.

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July 2020: Florence says the hate over her relationship makes her "feel like s--t."

After defending her relationship several times, Florence opened up about how the harsh criticism was affecting her. On the Sue Perkins: An hour or so with... podcast, she revealed the comments really upset her. Florence later admitted she felt like s--t for letting the trolls get to her.

"And then I thought how ridiculous is that? I'm 24 and I can't choose who I love," she said. "There's a reason why I'm not with someone my age — it hasn't worked. So, who are you trying to match me up with?"

Florence added: "I've always found it funny, how I can be good enough for people to watch my work and support my work and pay for tickets, and I'm old enough to be an adult and pay taxes, but I'm not old enough to know who I should and should not have sex with. Yet again, once again, it's making a young woman feel like s--t for no reason."

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March 2021: Zach and Florence spark marriage rumors.

Nearly two years into dating, the couple sparked marriage speculation after a friend referred to Florence as "FPB." The friend swiftly removed the extra letter from his Instagram post and clarified the "B" stood for a nickname. He also said Florence and Zach weren't married, but the rumors persisted when Zach was spotted wearing a ring on THAT finger.

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May 2022: Florence denies rumors that she's dating Will Poulter.

After photos surfaced online of Florence on a trip to Ibiza with a group of friends, including her Midsommar co-star Will Poulter, many wondered if she dumped Zach for Will. Florence quickly shut down the rumors on her Instagram Story, stating she and the then 29-year-old actor were simply friends.

"No, Will Poulter and I are not dating. We went to the beach with our friends, who are always about half a metre away from us in every picture, but have been cleverly cut out/framed out so that it looks otherwise," Florence wrote. "Regardless of your opinion on who I should or shouldn't be with, at the end of the day if you're complimenting someone by trolling another person.. you're just bullying. There's literally no need to be horrible online — no need. Think about what you write. Think about who it affects."

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August 2022: Florence confirms she and Zach broke up.

After months of speculation, Florence revealed in her Harper's Bazaar cover story that she and Zach broke up.

"We've been trying to do this separation without the world knowing, because it's been a relationship that everybody has an opinion on," she said. "We just felt something like this would really do us the benefit of 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 lumpy throat when I talk about it."

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January 2023: Florence and Zach open up about their relationship.

During an interview with Vogue, Florence recalled the negative response to her relationship with Zach.

"We weren't in anyone's faces. It was just that people didn’t like it," Florence said. "They imagined me with someone younger and someone in blockbusters. I think young relationships in Hollywood are so easily twisted because they add to the gossip sites. It's exciting to watch. And I think I was in a relationship that didn't do any of that."

Meanwhile, Zach gushed about Florence's talent: "I quite simply think she's one of the greatest actors of her generation. She's just magnetic. You cannot take your eyes off of her. And it's not just her beauty and it's not just her acting ability, it's that thing, that magic thing that transcends the screen, where anyone and everyone goes: I want to see whatever this person does."

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March 2023: The former couple reunites to promote 'A Good Person.'

On March 8, 2023, the exes reunited and posed for photos at the UK premiere of A Good Person. Just a few days later, Zach was spotted meeting up with Florence's parents and her beloved grandmother Pat for dinner in the Big Apple.

In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, the 47-year-old writer-director raved about Florence's performance in A Good Person, revealing that she's the inspiration behind the film's tragic story.

Florence Pugh and Zach Braff at the UK premiere of 'A Good Person.'
Source: Getty Images

Florence Pugh and Zach Braff at the UK premiere of 'A Good Person.'

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"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,'" Zach recalled, adding that Florence is "a next-level actress" and he knew she'd be the right for the role.

"I mean, she's just unbelievable and what I was writing was gonna be really challenging," Zach told the outlet. "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."

A Good Person hits theaters on March 24, 2023.

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