8 reasons why everyone loves Paul Mescal

8 reasons why everyone loves Paul Mescal
Celebrity Closeup : Paul Mescal

Paul Mescal may still consider himself a Normal Person, but the Irish heartthrob has now officially made the big time.

On Tuesday, the 26-year-old was named as one of five nominees for the Best Actor award at this year's Oscars, sealing his status as one of the world’s most exciting young talents.

He is running for the golden statuette alongside fellow Irishman Colin Farrel, British icon Bill Nighy and US heavyweights Austin Butler and Brendan Fraser.

And yet, we feel confident that this is all water off the Aftersun star’s back.

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Time and time again, he has proven that he’s just a down-to-earth lad from Maynooth, and we just don’t see the dizzying heights of Hollywood changing him any time soon.

Here, we take a look at 8 reasons why he’s stolen everyone’s hearts and why he could go on to steal the crown at the biggest awards ceremony of the year.

That chain

Yes, we’re talking about the necklace Mescal wore as Connell in the BBC adaptation of Sally Rooney’s Normal People.

The chain, which was meant to signal the character’s working-class background, instead helped transform its wearer into an international sex symbol.

Such was the obsession with the thin silver piece, and the neck around which it hung, that an entire Instagram account and a Twitter hashtag were created in its honour.

Almost three years later and jewellers are still selling their own versions of “the Connell chain”.

Would it have had the same impact had it been sported by another actor? We can’t help but think Mescal’s understated, boy-next-door allure made it what it was.

The chain turned Mescal into an instant sex symbolBBC/Twitter

His Twitter bio

Despite having since worked alongside the likes of Olivia Coleman and Maggie Gyllenhal, we have proof that Mescal still considers himself a Normal Person: it says so on his Twitter.

The hardworking actor has clearly been so busy since his breakout role that he hasn’t got around to changing his Twitter bio.

It still reads simply: “Connell in Normal people”, and he doesn’t even have a blue tick on his profile.

Clearly, he has bigger fish to fry than wasting time on social media. Clearly, we don’t.


His relationship with Normal People co-star Daisy Edgar-Jones

No no, not that kind of relationship. We mean the better kind: what the two have both proclaimed will be a friendship for life.

You can’t fake the kind of chemistry the pair had in Normal People but this, it turns out, was largely thanks to their platonic love for one another.

Since the show hit screens, they have done countless interviews, quizzes and photo-ops together, and Edgar-Jones has publicly named Mescal as her “best friend”.

The pals clearly have a lot of fun together, no more so than last Halloween when they dressed up in complimentary outfits: she as Phoebe Waller Bridge’s iconic hot mess Fleabag and Mescal as her love interest Andrew Scott’s “hot priest”.

Inevitably, Edgar-Jones’s selfie of their get-up broke the internet.

His relationship with his girlfriend’s pug

Mescal is understandably tight-lipped about his private life, including his relationship with singer Phoebe Bridgers.

But whether or not the breakup – or engagement – rumours are true, Mescal has undoubtedly forged a beautiful bond with her pet dog.

He has been photographed cuddling the black pug on numerous occasions and delighted fans by popping up on stage with her during one of Bridgers’ gigs.

The musician quickly snuck them both a kiss – and millions of hearts around the world broke clean in two.

His 10 essential items are totally relatable

Just two weeks before his Oscar nomination, Mescal opened up about the 10 items he couldn’t live without in an interview with GQ.

They are as follows:

  1. A bottle of aftershave (note, not aftersun);
  2. A copy of Tennessee Williams’s Caton a Hot Tin Roof – a play in which he’s currently starring at London’s Almeida theatre;
  3. A tube of Berocca;
  4. Two rings that he wears at all times, unless work prevents him;
  5. His camera – because he likes to “take photos of people that [he] loves and cares about”;
  6. A worry stone that his mum gave me, which features a “cheesy” quote that reads: “We tread softly holding each other’s dreams”;
  7. A pair of scuffed-up trainers – he said he wouldn’t choose to wear a lot of the clothes he’s dressed in for shoots because, though they look cool, he doesn’t “feel like they’re particularly practical”;
  8. His wired headphones, because wireless buds fall out of his ears;
  9. His trusty old “lucky” cap;
  10. Sea salt spray for his hair.

No airs and graces here, just a nice balance of practicality and heartwarming sentimentality.

10 Things Paul Mescal Can’t Live Without | 10 Essentialsyoutu.be

He once starred in an advert for sausages

Who doesn’t love a good old “before they were famous” story, and Mescal’s involves sausages.

No, not anything NSFW, but Denny’s pork sausages.

In an interview with Elle back in 2020, Mescal admitted he still got stopped by people who recognised him from somewhere. He assumed they were thinking of Normal People but no, “the sausage ads”.

Have a look at one of his first forays into television yourself here:

Normal People's Paul Mescal makes first TV appearance in sausage adyoutu.be

He’s a really good singer

Mescal is a big fan of musicals, as he told Bustle in an interview last September. And we imagine the likes of Andrew Lloyd Webber are chomping at the bit to cast him in their next big show, given his considerable singing talents.

Sure, we could focus on his spine-tingling covers, like this one:

Paul Mescal Cover Of Chandelier By Siayoutu.be

But, frankly, we'd rather look back at the time he played the titular role in The Phantom of the Opera when he was 16:

He’s a really, really good actor

It's an obvious point, perhaps, but you don't get to the top of your game by looking hot in an Argos necklace or even by carrying a pug around, you get it by working hard and being good at what you do.

And anyone who's seen Mescal in Aftersun, The Lost Daughter, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof or even that sausage ad will know, he's really, really good at what he does.

All we can say is, good luck, Paul. We'll be treading softly and holding your dreams close to our heart this Oscar's season.

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