Paul Mescal is opening up about how uncomfortable he felt with some reactions to his work in 2020’s breakout hit “Normal People,” specifically the sex scenes. In a British GQ, interview, published Nov. 7, Mescal talked about one interaction with a fan about his on-screen nudity that left him feeling bad.
The actor said he was out with friends, not long after the show came out, when they ran into a group of women celebrating a bachelorette party — or, as they call it across the pond, a “hen do.” A woman said to him, “I didn’t think the show was any good but I saw your willy and I have a photo!” Mescal recalled to British GQ. “I remember that was the first time that I was really angry. I was like, ‘That’s f*cking rude!’ It’s embarrassing for you, it’s embarrassing for me, it’s embarrassing for my friends and now I have to say no to you. But luckily they are the anomaly.”
Mescal also discussed how he thinks Irish people react a little differently to celebrities than Americans and British people do. “I think Irish people are incredibly proud and that’s a really nice kind of buoyant feeling and then at other times it can be like, ‘Don’t get too big for your boots,'” he explained. He joked that even talking about it would lead “Irish mammies and daddies” to think he was on his “high horse.”
Mescal has had an exciting year. At the end of 2021, he made his film debut in Netflix’s “The Lost Daughter” alongside Olivia Colman and Dakota Johnson. In September, he starred in the critically acclaimed film “God’s Creatures,”, and this November he turned in a gorgeous performance as a young dad in the movie “Aftersun,” a role that’s earned him considerable Oscar buzz. In 2020, he started dating singer Phoebe Bridgers, and they made their relationship Instagram official at the end of 2021.