- Film & TV
- 09 Feb 23
In an BBC Radio 4 interview, Paul Mescal shares his reaction to his surreal Oscar nomination.
Irish actor Paul Mescal was shortlisted for the Oscars's Best Actor category on January 24th for his work in the coming-of-age film Aftersun. Now, in an interview with BBC Radio 4's Today show program, Mescal reflects on the impact the nomination has had on himself and his loved ones.
The 27-year-old broke out with his 2020 Normal People role, a success amidst the turmoil of the pandemic's first year. The role of Connell Waldron in the Irish romantic psychological drama series earned him a BAFTA TV Award and a nomination for a Primetime Emmy Award.
Aftersun is about the father-daughter relationship of Sophie and her father Calum, played by Mescal. Frankie Corio plays Sophie as a child and Celia Rowlson-Hall portrays her in adulthood.
Embroiled in the memory of when the two vacationed at a Turkish resort when she was 11, Sophie examines the memory of Calum and his struggles with life outside of fatherhood.
"It's all a bit overwhelming, especially for my family," the Maynooth native confessed.
The Oscar nomination announcement came the same day as his mother beginning chemotherapy for her bone marrow cancer. It was a point of celebration during a stressful time for his family.
Paul Mescal's sister, up-and-coming singer-songwriter Nell Mescal, disclosed the situation in a tweet.
"My mum got a haircut today in prep for her chemotherapy and then Paul got nominated for an Oscar life is so crazy."
my mum got a haircut today in prep for her chemotherapy and then paul got nominated for an oscar life is so crazy
— nell mescal (@nellmescal_) January 24, 2023
Paul Mescal says that he doesn't think anybody, least of all himself, expected the nomination. While always willing to work hard, he recalls that there it really hasn't been that long since he graduated from drama school.
"But last Tuesday when the nominations came out and BAFTAs [came out] the week before, something felt slightly absurd about it all," he continued, speaking on BBC Radio 4.
The rising acting star always knew he wanted to act, but credits a school policy in giving him the excuse to pursue the opportunity.
"They do the school musical and they have a policy, regardless of whether you want to be in it or not, everybody is going to be in the school musical and you have to audition."
"I feel like had it not been for that policy I could have very much fallen through the cracks. I don't know if I would have had the confidence to turn around to my friends who I played sports with and said: 'I want to be in the school musical.' That policy afforded a kind of possibility that I knew I wanted."
Aftersun is far from the last of Mescal's big projects. 2022 also saw Mescal receive acclaim for his role in the 2022 Irish family drama God's Creatures, which is set to open this year's Dublin Film Festival.
Soon, Mescal will reprise his role as Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire as it moves to the Phoenix Theatre in London's West End. The already sold-out show will run for just six weeks between March and April.
Film fans can expected to see him in Garth Davis' science fiction thriller Foe and Andrew Haigh's British fantasy drama Strangers, both of which are currently in post-production.
Mescal has reportedly been cast by Ridley Scott to star in the sequel to the 2000 Gladiator film. He's likely to play Lucius, the son of Connie Nielsen's character Lucilla and nephew of the antagonist Commodus, played by Joaquin Phoenix. Lucius is the new main character after the death of the gladiator Maximus.
As absurd as the Oscars nomination may seem, Paul Mescal's career is only going to get crazier from here on out.
- Film & TV
- 13 Mar 23