Oscar Actors: Mescal, Paul–Lead Role, Aftersun–Background, Career, Awards (Cum Advantage)

Research in progress, Feb 16, 2023

Paul Mescal Career Summary

Occupational Inheritance: No; mother Garda officer, and father, schoolteacher who acted semi-professionally as

Nationality: Irish

Social Class: Middle





Teacher/Inspirational Figure:

Radio Debut:

TV Debut: “Normal People,”

Stage Debut:

Broadway Debut:

Film Debut: Lost Daughter, 2021; aged 25

Breakthrough Role: Lost Daughter

Oscar Role: Aftersun, 2022, aged 26

Other Noms:

Other Awards:

Frequent Collaborator:

Screen Image: character actor

Last Film: NA

Career Output:

Film Career Span: NA



Death: NA

Paul Mescal, born February 2, 1996, is an Irish actor.

Born in Maynooth, he studied acting at The Lir Academy and performed in plays in Dublin theatres.

Mescal rose to fame with his role in the miniseries Normal People (2020), earning BAFTA TV Award and nomination for Primetime Emmy Award.

Mescal made his film debut in supporting role in psychological drama The Lost Daughter (2021), and received praise for starring in the 2022 drama films God’s Creatures and Aftersun.

His performance as a troubled father in the lattermost earned him nominations for Oscar Award and BAFTA Film Award.

Since 2022, he has performed as Stanley Kowalski in a revival of the play A Streetcar Named Desire.

Mescal was born on February 2, 1996 in Maynooth, County Kildare to Dearbhla, a .

The eldest of three children, he has a brother and a sister. He attended Maynooth Post Primary School. He was a minor and under-21 Gaelic football player for Kildare and a member of the Maynooth GAA club. Gaelic footballer Brian Lacey praised Mescal’s skills as a defender, while physical trainer Cian O’Neill described him as “mature beyond his years … very developed and very strong”.

He gave up the sport after a jaw injury. Mescal performed on stage for the first time at age 16, portraying the titular Phantom in the musical The Phantom of the Opera, after which he auditioned and gained admission to The Lir Academy at Trinity College Dublin. Mescal graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Acting in 2017. He secured agents for his acting career prior to his graduation.

Upon obtaining his Bachelor of Arts degree, Mescal was offered roles in two theatre productions, Angela’s Ashes and The Great Gatsby; he took on the latter and starred as the titular Jay Gatsby at the Gate Theatre in Dublin. The Irish Times Peter Crawley highlighted his work as a “butterfly of self-creation among an ensemble in constant motion and fluttering improvisation”. He also portrayed the Prince in a contemporary retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Red Shoes at the same theatre that year. Mescal appeared in the world premiere of the 2018 play Asking for It by Louise O’Neill at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin; Steve Cummins of The Times commended his distinctive performance. That same year, Mescal made his London stage debut in The Plough and the Stars at the Lyric Hammersmith and starred in the Rough Magic Theatre Company’s productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Kilkenny Arts Festival and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man for the Dublin Theatre Festival.

In 2020, he performed in the play The Lieutenant of Inishmore at Dublin’s Gaiety Theatre.

Mescal starred in his first TV role in the drama miniseries Normal People, an adaptation of the 2018 novel of the same name by Sally Rooney. It premiered in the UK on BBC Three and in the US on Hulu in 2020. He played student Connell Waldron; he viewed the role as different from himself in the way Waldron’s traits include hesitance and emotional unavailability.[13] Like the actor did in real life, the character plays Gaelic football and attends Trinity College.[24] The role propelled Mescal to fame.[5][25] He earned acclaim as well as the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actor for his performance.[26][27] In their respective reviews for Variety and Slate, Caroline Framke called Mescal’s navigation through the character’s emotional collapse “breathtaking”, while Willa Paskin noted his concurrent embodiment of “intelligence, insecurity and quiet confidence”.[28][29] He also received nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie and the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Actor in Movie-Miniseries.

Mescal starred in Drifting, a short film, which was screened at the 2020 Galway Film Fleadh. He played a firefighter in the Channel 5 miniseries The Deceived and appeared in the music video for the song “Scarlet” by The Rolling Stones in August. Reviewing The Deceived, critic Ed Power highlighted Mescal’s effortless “sleepy-eyed charm” and “flawless” Donegal accent.

Mescal made his feature debut with a supporting role in The Lost Daughter, directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal in her directorial debut. Released in 2021, the psychological drama garnered favorable reviews.

The following year, Mescal starred as a troubled young father in the drama Aftersun and a man accused of sexual assault in the psychological drama God’s Creatures, both of which premiered at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival. The two films received positive reviews, with Mescal’s performances gaining praise.

Mescal’s work in God’s Creatures was described as “powerful” and “quietly chilling.”  He impressed with disarming charm and elemental power” in his portrayal of complex roles. He received nominations for the Best Actor Oscar and the BAFTA Award for the latter.

Mescal began playing Stanley Kowalski in a revival of the play A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams at the Almeida Theatre in December 2022. He “makes the latent violence of Stanley Kowalski into something easy, tangible, vibrant yet unactorly.” The production is scheduled to transfer to the West End in March 2023.

Mescal starred in Carmen, a contemporary film adaptation of the opera of the same name. It premiered at the 2022 Toronto Film Fest and will be theatrically released in 2023.

Mescal will next star in Foe, an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Iain Reid, and in Strangers, an adaptation of Taichi Yamada’s novel of the same name. He replaced Blake Jenner in the role of a composer in Richard Linklater’s Merrily We Roll Along, a film adaptation of the 1981 musical of the same name, which is set be filmed over 20 years.

Mescal moved from Ireland to London in 2020. He stated in December 2022 that he had bought a property in Ireland, with the intention of spending time there when he is not working. Mescal is seeing a therapist, which he says is “to keep sane.”

Mescal plays the piano, and has performed covers of songs with his sister, Nell. In July 2020, the actor performed spoken word and sang with Irish singer Dermot Kennedy at the London Natural History Museum. He participated in a virtual stage reading of the play This Is Our Youth by Kenneth Lonergan as part of a series to benefit the Actors Fund of America charity in October of the same year.

Mescal has been in a relationship with singer Phoebe Bridgers since 2020. He appeared in Bridgers’ music video for the song “Savior Complex,” directed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge.


2020 Drifting Cian Short film
2021 The Lost Daughter Will
2022 Aftersun Calum Paterson
God’s Creatures Brian O’Hara
Carmen Aidan

Foe Film has yet to be released Junior Post-production
TBA Strangers Film has yet to be released Harry

TBA Merrily We Roll Along Film is in production Franklin Shepard Filming


2020 Normal People Connell Waldron Miniseries
The Deceived Sean McKeogh Miniseries

Music videos
Year Title Artist(s) Ref.
2020 “Scarlet” The Rolling Stones
“Savior Complex” Phoebe Bridgers


2017 The Great Gatsby Jay Gatsby Gate Theatre, Dublin
2017–2018 The Red Shoes Prince Gate Theatre, Dublin
2018 The Plough and the Star, Lieutenant Langon Lyric Theatre, London
Asking for It Bryan Abbey Theatre, Dublin
A Midsummer Night’s Dream Demetrius Kilkenny Arts Festival
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man Stephen Dedalus Dublin Theatre Festival [19]
2020 The Lieutenant of Inishmore Mad Padraic Gaiety Theatre, Dublin
2022–2023 A Streetcar Named Desire Stanley Kowalski Almeida Theatre, London