Paul Mescal has said that his Oscar nomination for Aftersun has been an “absurd” moment in his life, but it has provided welcome relief for his family as they go through a difficult time.
In his first interview since being nominated for Best Lead Actor, the Irish star told BBC Radio 4’s Today show that he was still processing the achievement.
“It’s all a bit overwhelming, especially for my family, because I don’t think anybody or even I was expecting this,” he said. “I always knew that I was willing to work hard, but when the nominations came out, and the BAFTAs the week before, something felt slightly absurd about it at all.”
He added: “[There is] stuff going on at home that is difficult and this has given my family a very welcome respite. And yeah, we’re gonna have a great time as a family. They’re all coming out to LA.”
Mescal’s sister, Nell Mescal, revealed on the day of his Oscar nomination that their mother was about to undergo treatment for bone marrow cancer. “My mum got a haircut today in prep for her chemotherapy and then Paul got nominated for an Oscar. Life is so crazy,” she tweeted.
“The universe works in kind of very interesting ways,” Mescal told the BBC.
The 27-year-old joked that, even with recognition from the Academy Awards, he will never escape a sausage ad he made in Ireland before his breakthrough role in Normal People. Mescal starred in the commercial for Denny and is regularly reminded of it by his compatriots.
“It’s a little bit of folklore in Ireland now. If I ever feel like I get too big for my boots, it kind of pops up somewhere that we shouldn’t forget that I was promoting sausages when I got out of drama school,” he said.
“It’s also just a funny joke. I trained in drama school for three years, took it so seriously. It was like, I loved the craft of it, and then I was poor. I had no money and then my agent was like, ‘I don’t know how you’ll deal with this, but we’ve got a sausage advert that you can go on.’ I was like, absolutely. I need to pay my rent.”