Paul Mescal says Oscar nod gave family ‘welcome respite’ during difficult time
Paul Mescal has said his Academy Award nomination for coming-of-age drama Aftersun was a welcome distraction as his mother prepared for chemotherapy.
The Normal People star, 27, claimed his first Oscar nod for his portrayal of a young father on holiday with his daughter in Charlotte Wells’ film, which has also garnered three Bafta nominations including for outstanding British film.
In his first interview since the nominations, Mescal told Martha Kearney on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think it’s all a bit overwhelming, especially for my family, I don’t think anybody or even I was expecting this.
“I always knew that I was willing to work hard but when the nominations came in and Baftas the week before, there was something kind of, something slightly absurd about it all.
“There’s stuff going on at home that is difficult and this has given my family a very welcome respite, and we’re going to have a great time as a family. They’re all coming out to LA.”
Ms Kearney clarified that Mescal was referring to his mother preparing for chemotherapy on the same day that he received his Academy Award nomination, which had been announced by his sister Nell on Twitter.
Mescal replied: “The universe works in kind of very interesting ways.”
my mum got a haircut today in prep for her chemotherapy and then paul got nominated for an oscar life is so crazy
— nell mescal (@nellmescal_) January 24, 2023
He also spoke about his role in the school musical production of Phantom Of The Opera which steered his career away from playing Gaelic football.
He said: “I went to Maynooth Post Primary and they have this policy where regardless of whether you want to be in it or not, everybody’s going to be in the school musical and you have to audition.
“I feel like had it not been for that policy, I don’t know if I would have had the confidence to turn around to my friends who I was playing sport with and say, ‘I want to be in the school musical’.
“So that policy afforded a kind of possibility and I think that changed my life forever.”