Mes-sy Affair | 

Paul Mescal plans to ‘get dressed up and get drunk’ with mam and dad at the Oscars

Appearing on RTÉ One’s The Late Late Show on Friday evening, he told host Ryan Tubridy that he stared at his phone in disbelief when learned the news.

Emily Watson, Ryan Tubridy and Paul Mescal on The Late Late Show


Normal People star Paul Mescal revealed he started shaking when he learned he had been nominated for a Best Actor Oscar.

The 27-year-old actor from Maynooth, Co Kildare, said being nominated for the Best Actor gong for his role as a Scottish father holidaying with his daughter in Turkey in the film Aftersun came as a complete shock.

Appearing on RTÉ One’s The Late Late Show on Friday evening, he told host Ryan Tubridy that he stared at his phone in disbelief when learned the news.

“I had a meeting earlier on in the day that I hoped would run through the nominations coming through but it didn’t so I was just watching my phone, the nomination came up, the phone dropped, I started shaking,” he recalled.

“I Facetimed my family. There was lots of emotion that comes with it because it wasn’t really expected.

“I thought we were on the outside of the bubble, but I was just like – I don’t know, it was just a dream come true to be honest. To be in the category with Colin. It really is amazing.

"Very surreal,” he said of competing for the top acting award with fellow Irish star Colin Farrell, who was also nominated for his role in “The Banshees of Inisherin.”

He also said he is delighted to be among 14 Irish nominees at next month’s glittering awards ceremony in Los Angeles.

“I’m right smack bang in the middle of it,” he said of the incredible number of Irish nominees this year.

“I did an interview on the red carpet last night where I was like ‘obviously I think it’s so important to celebrate the fact that this year there is a particular surge in Irish nominations – and not to expect that this will happen every year’ – but there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be pushing at this rate as much as we can,” Mescal said.

“We have, I think, the writers. We’ve got some of the best, we’ve got a heritage of writing like no other country, I think. We’ve got the actors and we’ve got the directors and I think it’s up to probably the powers that be, government or whatever, to support it in a way that we can continue this.”

He also revealed that he plans to bring his parents with him to the Oscars ceremony and party with them afterwards.

“Mum and Dad are coming in. We’ll get dressed up, go to the ceremony, then go have a couple of drinks and get drunk,” he said.

And despite saying previously that he planned to ditch his parents after the Oscars ceremony, he joked he changed his mind after they ‘made a good show of themselves’ following the BAFTA awards.

As for his meteoric rise to fame following his performance as Connell in Normal People, he said: “I feel good. It’s full-on nonetheless, it’s just day by day, get on with training.”

But he admitted he was taken aback when he was approached to do the sequel to Hollywood blockbuster Gladiator in which he will play the leading role as Lucius, the young nephew of Roman Emperor Commodus, a character who was originally played by Joaquin Phoenix in the 2000 film also starring Russell Crowe.

“I initially thought it was a joke,” he said before he sat down to a Zoom meeting with director Ridley Scott.

Meanwhile, he also revealed that his success didn’t stop him from paying homage to his alma mater, and he popped in to Maynooth Post-Primary during a drama club rehearsal before appearing on the red carpet for the Irish premiere of his latest film God’s Creatures alongside co-star Emily Watson on Thursday night at Dublin’s Lighthouse cinema.

“It was the exact same,” he said of his school days when his interest in acting began when he appeared in a school production of Phantom of the Opera.

As for his much publicised red carpet interview in Irish at the BAFTA awards, he said his father slagged him saying “what was that?”

“I did it and I realised I was out of my depth very quickly. I’m very proud of the Irish I have and I think it’s important to not to gatekeep the language and use it,” he said.

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