Watch the actor, who plays Connell in the TV adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel, read an extract from the bestselling book
“Hello,” says Paul Mescal, “my name is Paul Mescal and I’m going to be reading a section from,” – he points at his book – “Normal People. I’m going to be reading the section where Connell meets Marianne in Trinity for the first time.” And there you have it, all your dreams have come true.
In the clip, Mescal films himself reading the extract, which sees protagonists Marianne – played by Daisy Edgar-Jones in the BBC series – and Connell reunite at university for the first time after their turbulent relationship at school.
“‘Alright,’ says Connell, ‘hi.’ Instantly, unbelievably, Marianne’s face breaks into a gigantic smile, exposing her crooked front teeth,” Mescal reads. “She’s wearing lipstick. Everyone is watching her now. She has been speaking, but she stopped to stare at him. ‘Jesus Christ,’ she says, ‘Connell Waldron… from beyond the grave.’ He coughs, and in a panic to appear normal, says, ‘When did you take up smoking?’ To Gareth, to her friends, she adds, ‘We went to school together.’”
Mescal and Edgar-Jones have been in high demand since Normal People first aired in April, recently returning for two bonus episodes – which starred Fleabag’s Hot Priest, Andrew Scott – for Comic Relief Ireland. Even Mescal’s fashion choices (or should I say, Connell’s) have found fame, with his chain racking up 185,000 followers on Instagram, and going up for auction.
Following the success of Normal People, it’s been confirmed that Rooney’s debut novel, Conversations with Friends, is also being adapted for the small screen.
Watch Mescal’s ASMR reading of Normal People below, and read our interview with the show’s stars here.
Normal People will be available for digital download on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Sky Store, and Virgin Media from July 3.