Lockdown shields Normal People star Paul Mescal from fame

Normal People star Paul Mescal has revealed how he has been been insulated from huge fame from his breakout role due to quarantine.
Lockdown shields Normal People star Paul Mescal from fame

Actor Paul Mescal
Actor Paul Mescal

Normal People star Paul Mescal has revealed how he has been been insulated from huge fame from his breakout role due to quarantine.

“I feel like my life is slightly different just in terms of conversations with my wonderful agents and discussing things that may or may not happen next," the Kildare actor said.

“But in terms of a day-to-day basis, quarantine’s my best friend at the moment because there’s still a structure that hasn’t changed before or after the premiere.”

He told Variety the chemistry was instantly apparent when he read through scenes with co-star Daisy Edgar-Jones.

"It’s very difficult to quantify why that is. This sounds odd, but it felt like Paul and Marianne were talking to each other rather than me and Daisy acting to each other, if that makes sense. It just felt quite natural and easy."

The star also described how the realistic love scenes were rehearsed for two weeks prior to filming with Lenny Abrahamson.

“On one of those days, Ita (O’Brien, the intimacy coordinator) came in to work with us and took us through her process of what a day on set would look like when we were shooting those scenes.

“And that was really useful because it took the edge off the anxiety when it came to shooting those scenes on the first day that we shot them.

"Me and Daisy felt safe throughout the process. What we would do is Ita would check in with me and Daisy in our trailers in the morning.

“And then she’d ask if we were feeling okay and have a brief conversation. Then we would discuss the degree of nudity that would be required each and every day. And then after that, me and Daisy would arrive to set, and we’d block through the scene in sweatpants and a T-shirt.

Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones as Connell and Marianne.
Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones as Connell and Marianne.

“Then we would have a conversation, both myself and Daisy — and Lenny and Ita — about what we were comfortable with."

He said it made it easier to watch the scenes with his family.

“I did watch with my parents. It is an odd experience when you sit down and go, “Okay, Mom and Dad. We’re watching episode 1 to 4. And in episode 2, there’s a big ole sex scene. But they were amazing about it, because they’re in a position where they knew this was going to be required from day one.

“But I think ultimately, I would be much more embarrassed about if I thought that I had in some way been taken advantage of in the filming process — which was never, ever the case.

“I was able to look back and go, “Oh, these are scenes that I’m really proud of.””

He revealed how his character’s neck chain which has become an internet sensation was given to his co-star as a present at the end of filming.

He said he has been amused to see the chain referred to as “Argos chic” in the book now has its own Instagram account with nearly 35,000 followers.

“I think it is amazing. Probably the last thing I expected to garner a response was Connell’s chain. I just think it’s hilarious.”

He told Variety: “I didn’t take it off during the filming. It was more convenient to just wear it rather than take it off.

“I wore it the whole summer. I wore it actually before filming. I wore it in the lead-up to filming just because I liked it."

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