5 minutes with Paul Mescal who next stars in thriller by Derry Girls writer

5 minutes with Paul Mescal who next stars in thriller by Derry Girls writer

Paul Mescal as Sean in Channel 5 show 'The Deceived'. Picture: PA Photo/Channel 5/New Pictures Ltd, All3Media International, © DEC PRODUCTIONS LIMITED

New Channel 5 thriller The Deceived has a seriously impressive cast. Meet the man of the moment, Paul Mescal.

WHAT APPEALED TO YOU ABOUT 'THE DECEIVED'?

I am a massive Derry Girls fan, so naturally the first thing that jumped out at me was Lisa and Tobias's names; that is always going to be exciting.

The fact that this was a psychological drama didn't particularly surprise or confuse me because the standard of the writing in Derry Girls is so good.

It is hilarious, and the quality of the script is so high that I had no trepidation over whether this would work or not.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR CHARACTER, SEAN?

Sean is a simple man, in a good sense. He is a man directly invested in the community, he has a very strong and good moral compass and he has his eye on Ophelia. He is attracted to her, but also there is a slight concern he has for her.

SEAN IS ALSO DESCRIBED AS CHARMING...

It is impossible to play charming. It is more about understanding where Sean has come from, what his upbringing was like and what are the values he has in his own life, as I think that's what people will find most charming and trustworthy about him.

'THE DECEIVED' EXPLORES THEMES SUCH AS GASLIGHTING AND PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE...

It's great to be a part of something that is showing this because, to be honest, I imagine the situation in this drama is a common occurrence, unfortunately.

Paul Mescal at the Virgin Media BAFTA TV awards. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Paul Mescal at the Virgin Media BAFTA TV awards. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Ultimately whether it is gaslighting or abuse, it is about a person in power manipulating the situation —and that is something that is very present in our society, not just with the MeToo movement but as a societal theme, and so it is great to see this explored in a domestic, Irish setting but also with the subtle supernatural quality under the show. It is really well judged and well balanced.

HOW WERE YOUR NERVES WHEN YOU STEPPED ON SET?

I had two days off after I wrapped filming on Normal People and then I started filming The Deceived. This is my second-ever TV role. As for whether I was nervous...? Totally. I don't have enough experience to feel completely comfortable stepping on to set, but everybody was so welcoming and kind on this show.

The nerves were very much present when I stepped on set on my first day for The Deceived. But I'd be worried if that feeling wasn't present, because I don't think nerves are necessarily a bad thing.

WE'VE GOT TO ASK ABOUT HOW YOU'RE HANDLING THE INCREDIBLE RESPONSE TO 'NORMAL PEOPLE'?

To be honest, it is hard to describe accurately, as it is something that I feel very much still in the middle of and I don't really know what I feel at the moment.

It has been so lovely and amazing, and I am incredibly grateful that the show has reached as many people as it has and that the response has been so positive.

'The Deceived' starts on Channel 5 on Monday, August 3

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