Paul Mescal is quickly becoming a household name. The hunky 26-year-old actor hasn’t been in the Hollywood scene for very long but has already received an Oscar nomination for his role in Normal People. Meet the Irish actor who is sweeping fans off their feet and taking the world by storm.
Paul Mescal Used to Play Gaelic Football
Paul Mescal was born February 2, 1996, in County Kildare, Ireland. He has one younger brother and sister. Mescal played Gaelic football when he was younger but eventually gave up after injuring his jaw. He told Vogue that the choice to give up football came with a sense of “reluctance,” but also that acting and team sports “don’t coexist, unfortunately.”
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Mescal’s first acting role was as the titular character in Phantom of the Opera while he was still in high school. The footage is available online, if you’re interested. That role inspired Mescal to audition and apply for the Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art at Trinity College in Dublin. He was accepted, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Acting in 2017. He landed his first agent before he finished college.
“I’d been lucky enough to be working constantly, even before graduating,” Mescal told GQ.
Mescal Was an Esteemed Theatrical Actor by the Age of 20
Upon graduating, Mescal thrust himself into the world of theatre. He played Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby at The Gate Theatre in Dublin. Mescal continued to star in plays across Ireland, notably at The Abbey Theatre, The Gaiety Theatre, and The Rough Magic Theatre. With the latter, he was part of the Dublin Theatre Festival and the Kilkenny Arts Festival. The Irish Times once called Mescal’s early career a “nosebleed trajectory in Irish theatre has certainly singled him out as one to keep an eye on.”
Upon switching over to the camera side of acting, Paul Mescal was cast in a popular TV commercial for Denny’s sausages. He was also in a one-off episode of a TV show called Bump. Then came Normal People, which would remarkably be his first major role and breakout role — two things that usually do not go hand-in-hand. But considering his previous successes onstage, it’s unsurprising that the young man made such a splash. Many consider theatrical acting to be much harder than on-camera, as it’s performed live and doesn’t allow for re-dos.
After Denny’s Hot Dogs Came Oscar and Emmy Nominations
Paul Mescal has received worldwide recognition and acclaim for his role as Connell Waldron in Normal People, including an Emmy nomination. The news of his Oscar nomination is fresh, and the results are still pending. Meanwhile, he’s also been busy working on feature films, his first being The Lost Daughter in 2021. That film was also Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut. In 2022, Mescal starred in God’s Creatures, Aftersun, and Carmen. He has a whopping 8 more projects forthcoming, ranging from development stages to post-production.
Mescal dated Phoebe Bridgers for a while but they are rumored to have broken up in December. He starred in the singer’s music video for “Savior Complex” in 2020, shortly before he made it big in Hollywood. That same year, he also starred in The Rolling Stone’s music video for “Scarlet.”
From hot dogs to music videos to Oscar nominations, it sure does seem like Paul Mescal is still on his “nosebleed trajectory” to the stars.
These days, it doesn’t seem like the Irishman has got an official lady friend. However, he was spotted out having coffee with Angelina Jolie and her daughter, Shiloh. Angelina and Shiloh had just watched Mescal perform in A Streetcar Named Desire at London’s Almeida Theatre.
On that note, how sweet is it that Paul Mescal still finds time to perform live? That’s staying true to your roots.