The reactions to Paul Mescal‘s breakout performance as romantic lead Connell Waldron in the Irish miniseries “Normal People” on Hulu have been effusive. In an exclusive interview with Gold Derby (watch the video above) ahead of Emmy voting, the actor reveals about the last time that a performance similarly blew him away, “I remember seeing Timothée Chalamet in ‘Call Me by Your Name’ and being like, ‘Oh, holy mother of god, what he’s doing is terrifying’ because it’s so good. It’s so present; it’s so brilliant.” He continues, “My favorite performances are performances from people who are in my age group and who are young and are producing these terrifyingly brilliant pieces of art that make you leave from the cinema — from an actor’s perspective — being, ‘Oh, I don’t know if I can do that’.”
Mescal has received particular praise for his work in the tenth episode when his depressed character goes to therapy. “It was about taking my time to bridge the impact of the words — when he hears the words back from himself, he realizes that he’s in, emotionally, very deep, very quickly,” Mescal explains about how he played the scenes. He says about why Connell opening up to the counselor has been so resonant, “He’s somebody who isn’t particularly articulate; he’s somebody who feels things on a very deep, deep level and when he tries to verbalize them or articulate them, his words generally fail him.”
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