March 26, 2023

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Looking back on the couple’s Hollywood romance, from how they met to why they ultimately split.
Florence Pugh and Zach Braff are no more.
The couple, among Hollywood’s most private, have officially called it quits on their relationship. The two dated for about three years, first going public with their romance back in 2019. However, throughout their relationship, Pugh and Braff dealt with near-constant criticism of their 21-year age gap (Pugh is 26, while Braff is 47), which they often spoke out against.
Ahead, we look back at their relationship, from their first interaction to their eventual breakup.
The director praises Pugh’s performance in the 2016 period drama Lady Macbeth on Twitter.
I watched an incredible film last night that I cannot stop thinking about: ‘Lady Macbeth’ starring @Florence_Pugh . Beautifully directed, shot, acted etc,” he writes. “It’s very upsetting, so be forewarned. Florence is a movie star.”
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, Braff also begins liking photos of Pugh on Instagram.
Though neither has yet to confirm their romance, fans begin to speculate about Braff and Pugh’s relationship after the actor travels to her hometown of Oxford, England.
A post shared by Zach Braff (@zachbraff)
The two begin their professional relationship with In the Time It Takes to Get There, a short film directed by Braff in which Pugh costars alongside Clueless‘s Alicia Silverstone. In the film, Pugh plays an 18th-century influencer.
On Instagram, Braff shares plenty of behind-the-scenes photos of Pugh from set.
A post shared by Zach Braff (@zachbraff)
A post shared by Zach Braff (@zachbraff)
Pugh and Braff are photographed out and about in New York City holding hands, seemingly confirming their dating status, per photos published by E! News.
Though the couple went some months without updating the public on their relationship, Braff now shares a photo of Pugh embracing a few of his friends on Instagram. He captions the sweet snap, “People I love.”
A post shared by Zach Braff (@zachbraff)
Braff posts his and Pugh’s first photo together on Instagram. The picture shows the couple enjoying a day out in Disneyland, accompanied by a few friends.
A post shared by Zach Braff (@zachbraff)
Earlier in the week, the couple also make separate red-carpet appearances at the Los Angeles premiere of Netflix’s Marriage Story.
After Braff comments with a princess emoji on a recent Instagram post made by Pugh, a user replies to him in the comments, saying, “You’re 44 years old.” The actress responds gracefully, “and yet he got it.”
On Instagram, the actress posts a photo of Braff cuddling with his dog during a rainy day.
“Today we shall smile wider than the clouds are grey. April 6th and we’re celebrating hard!” she captions the photo. “Happy Birthday wishes, boogies and cheers for this special person. Raise those bubbles and jiggle!”

A post shared by Florence Pugh (@florencepugh)
In a four-minute video posted to Instagram, Pugh defends her relationship with Braff from fans who have questioned their 21-year age gap, specifically those who have criticized her celebratory birthday tribute posted just days before.
“On Monday, I posted a photo in honor of Zach’s birthday and I wrote a birthday message underneath. Within about eight minutes of the photo being posted, I had about 70 percent of the comments hurling abuse and being horrid—basically bullying someone on my page,” Pugh says. “It is the first time in my entire Instagram life that I’ve had to turn off the comments on my page. I’ve never been an Instagram page that encourages that. I’ve never been an Instagram page that likes that toxic vibe.”
A post shared by Florence Pugh (@florencepugh)
She continues, “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. It is not your place. The abuse that you throw at him is abuse that you are throwing at me, and I don’t 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.”
Speaking with ELLE UK, Pugh defends her right to live out her personal life without any interference from the public.
“I have the right to hang out and be with and go out with anyone I want to,” she says. “I’ve always found this part of what people do really bizarre. I’m an actor because I like acting and I don’t mind people watching my stuff, but people have no right to educate me on my private life.”
While she acknowledges that her career as an actress means that a significant part of her life may be exposed to the public, she says she doesn’t believe that should extend to her love life.
“I know that part of being in the spotlight is that people might invade your privacy and have opinions on it, but it’s bizarre that normal folk are allowed to display such hate and opinions on a part of my life that I’m not putting out there,” she continues. “It’s a strange side of fame that you’re allowed to be torn apart by thousands of people even though you didn’t put that piece of you out there. … My point to all this is that isn’t it odd that a stranger can totally tear apart someone’s relationship and it’s allowed?”
According to E! News, the actress gets real about why she chose to date someone 21 years her senior. The comments came during an appearance on the Sue Perkins: An Hour or So With… podcast.
“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,” she says. “Once again, [it’s] making a young woman feel like shit for no reason. I think I did feel shit for awhile about admitting that, and then I thought, ‘How ridiculous is that?'”
She adds, “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?”
While speaking with Mr Porter‘s magazine, Braff recalls the moment Pugh defended their relationship via a four-minute video posted to Instagram.
“She literally sat down, hit record on her phone and said that,” he tells the outlet. “I thought: how could I possibly follow anything as intelligent and articulate as that? So, I chose not to.”
The director celebrates his girlfriend’s 25th birthday by posting a series of photos of her on Instagram.
“Happy Birthday to the most fun person I’ve ever met,” he captions the pictures. “I would have felt blessed to have smiled with your for one night. I can’t believe I get to giggle with you everyday. What a pleasure it is to know you. What a gift to the world it was that you were born.”
A post shared by Zach Braff (@zachbraff)
Braff sparks speculation on his and Pugh’s marital status when he’s spotted wearing a ring on his left hand, per People.
Captioning a slideshow of photos featuring Braff cuddling with their dog, Billie, Pugh writes, “It’s this magical persons birthday. A year ago we got Billie three days before Zach’s day and she’s flopped on her back for tummy tickles from him like this ever since. A special day for a special fella requires special foot wear and fluffy trackies.. obvi.”
She continues, listing out admirable qualities of her boyfriend, writing, “His need to make people laugh and smile is never ending, his constant generosity and love for others is infectious, his creativity and ability to put real and honest words onto the page inspires many and all who’s around him, but above all.. his appreciation for life and excitement for LIVING is something I always take note of.”
A post shared by Florence Pugh (@florencepugh)
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Pugh continues to rail against the criticism of her relationship with Braff.
“It’s so weird to me to go on to someone’s page and shit on it,” Pugh says. “That’s so not my nature—to go and bully for the sake of bullying. It’s such an odd thing that we’ve become OK with in the past ten years of social media.”
She adds, “I think it bugs people that it’s not who they expected. But it’s my life and I’m not doing anything to please people or to make it a better headline or story. I want to also be a person!”
Speaking with Collider, Braff praises his girlfriend’s star power.
“I know that anything Florence does is incredible,” he says. “People say she’s maybe the best actress of her generation. I think she’s one of the best actresses working.”
After paparazzi capture photos of Pugh enjoying a day at the beach with her longtime friend Will Poulter, fans go wild with the speculation that she may have moved on from Braff.
However, she quickly shuts those rumors down via a post shared to her Instagram Story, per People.
“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,” she writes. “You can LITERALLY see my best friend in the corner of so many shots and Archie’s arms at the sides.”
She adds that “fabricating” stories “does more damage than good.”
“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,” she says. “There’s literally no need to be horrible online– no need. Think about what you write. Think about who it affects.”
In an interview for Harper’s BAZAAR‘s September 2022 cover story, Pugh confirms that she and Braff quietly decided to end their relationship earlier in the year.
“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 tells BAZAAR. “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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