Paul Mescal is an Irish actor best known for starring in the TV adaptation of the Sally Rooney novel Normal People. Born February 2, 1996, he graduated from drama school at Trinity College Dublin in 2017, subsequently appearing in several theatre productions before being cast alongside Daisy Edgar-Jones in the breakthrough role of Normal People’s Connell Waldron in 2019.
Directed by Lenny Abrahamson and Hettie Macdonald – and co-written by Rooney – Normal People premiered on BBC Three and Hulu in April 2020. It quickly became one of the most talked-about shows in recent memory, noted for the stars’ undeniable chemistry, intimate sex scenes and Connell’s thin silver chain (who could forget?).
Following the runaway success of the series – and its four Emmy nominations, including one for Mescal’s portrayal of Connell – the actor starred in 2020’s The Deceived, a four-part psychological thriller directed by Derry Girls creator Lisa McGee. The same year, he also made his virtual Broadway debut, reading Kenneth Lonergan’s This is Our Youth alongside Lucas Hedges, and played a leading role in the short film “Drifting”.
Elsewhere, Mescal has taken roles in a music video for The Rolling Stones’ “Scarlet”, and another for Phoebe Bridgers (namely, the Phoebe Waller-Bridge-directed visual for “Savior Complex”). Unsurprisingly, Normal People has also been revisited for a couple of bonus episodes for Comic Relief in Ireland, including one with Fleabag’s Hot Priest, Andrew Scott.
Paul Mescal is set to make his feature film debut in Maggie Gyllenhaal’s upcoming big-screen adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s novel The Lost Daughter, alongside Olivia Colman and Dakota Johnson.
Image credit: Photography Enda Bowe, courtesy BBC