Florence Pugh, Saoirse Ronan and Eliza Scanlen Can't Believe 'Friends' Spoiled 'Little Women' (Exclusive)
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Warning: Spoilers below for anyone who hasn't read 'Little Women,' seen one of the previous adaptations or watched the season 3 episode of 'Friends' entitled "The One Where Monica and Richard Are Friends."
Greta Gerwig clearly knew what she was doing when she cast her adaptation of Little Women.
The director and stars of the upcoming film sat down with ET's Keltie Knight on Wednesday -- gathering in Louisa May Alcott's family home in Concord, Massachusetts, where the movie was shot -- and it quickly became clear that Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh and Eliza Scanlen were born to play sisters.
From giggling about tormenting co-star Timothée Chalamet, to pining for their fourth on-screen sister, Emma Watson, to munching on Ronan's favorite crisps, the three were thick as thieves, laughing and talking over each other just like they do in the film -- especially when it came to discussing the most devastating moment of Alcott's famous tale.
"That's my question -- can I talk about it?" asked Scanlen, who plays the sickly and shy middle March sister, Beth, who meets her untimely fate in the book and its subsequent adaptations.
"Yeah, everyone knows Beth dies," Pugh laughed, as Ronan chimed in, "But don't like, start with it."
The cinematic sisters then shared a laugh about the infamous season 3 episode of Friends, which spoils the "Beth dies" of it all for anyone who was unfamiliar with Little Women prior to watching Matt LeBlanc's Joey get devastated by the news.
"Seriously, did Friends know that that's a massive spoiler that they've just like, shared with the world?" joked Ronan, who plays the film's headstrong lead, Jo.
However, when asked about the story's themes of creative rejection, Scanlen confessed that she thinks her character's demise has earned her bonus points.
"There's an advantage to playing Beth," she said. "I think everyone has subconsciously put me in a good place in their hearts."
"It's true, everyone is much nicer to you," Ronan teased.
As for their treatment of Chalamet's character, Laurie -- a neighbor of the Marches who ends up marrying Pugh's Amy after best friend Jo rejects his proposal -- Ronan joked it was "very Dua Lipa of them."
"I think that's just a part of growing up, isn't it?" Pugh chimed in. "You have to let people down."
"Breaking hearts since 1996," Ronan teased her on-screen sister. "For me, this is payback, because he totally breaks [my] heart in Lady Bird. Now I get to do it to him in Little Women." ("That was a character!" Chalamet exclaimed in his own interview response.)
Chalamet catches quite a punch from his two-time co-star in the Little Women trailer, and Ronan couldn't help but laugh. "We're quite violent with Timothée, and he takes it. And it's funny seeing him in The King then, and he's like, 'Let me fight you!' with a sword, and I'm like, we beat you up!"
Other major names in the movie include Laura Dern and Bob Odenkirk, who play the girls' parents, Marmee and Robert March, and Meryl Streep, who stars as their surly but well-off aunt, Josephine.
It was Streep, of course, who inspired one of the most buzzed-about stories from the making of the film -- the three-time Oscar winner infamously summoned fast food to set when she became peckish during a scene.
"We we're on a carriage in the middle of a park, doing a big, grand scene, lots of moving parts are happening," Pugh recalled. "She said she was hungry, and we were both in our big hoop skirts, and five minutes later a PA comes back like, 'I have the fries!' We were both eating Wendy's in a carriage, it was very surreal."
The casting of the sisters ended up being utter perfection for the version of Alcott's famous tale that Gerwig has crafted. But, as she and Ronan tell it, it almost didn't work out that way.
"When Saoirse tells you she's gonna play a role, you just say yes," joked the director, who said that she and her leading lady first spoke about the adaptation on the press tour for Lady Bird, where Ronan emphatically threw her hat in the ring to play Jo.
"But I had to configure it in my head, because in this telling of a story, I start when they're adults and then I go back to childhood in a separate timeline. What I wanted to figure out was what age am I putting them all at... There's no change of actors [between timelines, as has been the case in previous adaptations], which I was pretty serious about," she explained. "I just needed to make sure I could configure in my mind how she would work, but yes, as soon as Saoirse Ronan said, 'I'm playing Jo,' I was like, 'Yes, perfect.'"
Little Women is in theaters on Dec. 7, with a wide release on Dec. 25.
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