Paul Mescal Talks Emotional Timing of ‘Aftersun’ Oscar Nomination

Paul Mescal, nominated for best actor at the BAFTAs and Oscars for “Aftersun,” has reacted to the emotional timing when the latter nod was announced.

The Oscar nomination announcement came as Mescal’s mother Dearbhla was preparing to go into chemotherapy for cancer, as revealed by his sister Nell.

Speaking to Martha Kearney on BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program on Thursday, Mescal said: “The universe works in very interesting ways.”

“It’s all a bit overwhelming, especially for my family. I don’t think anybody, or even I, was expecting this,” Mescal said. “I always knew I was willing to work hard, from the time of graduating from drama school to now hasn’t been an awfully long time. But last Tuesday, when the nominations came in and BAFTA the week before… something felt slightly absurd about it all.”

“And there’s stuff going on at home that is difficult, this has given my family a very welcome respite and I never thought that my job – something that I love very dearly – could do that. We’re gonna have a great time as a family. They’re all coming to LA [for the Oscars],” Mescal added.

The “Normal People” actor also spoke about how participating in the school musical at Maynooth, Ireland, kickstarted his acting career.

“They have a 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 even if you haven’t go in and sing Happy Birthday, you have to go in and do it,” Mescal said. “And I definitely wanted to be in the musical but I feel like had it not been for that policy I could have very much fallen through the cracks. I don’t know if I would have had the confidence to turn around to my friends who I was playing sport with and said, ‘I want to be in the school musical.’ So that policy afforded the possibility that I knew that I wanted.”

Mescal recently signed up to Ridley Scott’s follow up to “Gladiator.”

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