A look at Paul Mescal’s incredible rise to fame


He catapulted to international stardom after playing Connell Waldron in BBC Three’s Normal People in 2020.

And since Paul Mescal’s career has gone from strength to strength culminating in an Oscar nomination for Best Actor on Tuesday for his role in Aftersun.

The actor, 26, received heaps of praise for his role in the Charlotte Wells-directed film released last year where he plays 30-year-old single father Calum.

The County Kildare-born star has enjoyed a relatively sharp trajectory over the past few years, having only made his feature debut in 2021. 

MailOnline takes a look at his incredible rise to fame.

Actor: Paul Mescal catapulted to international stardom after playing Connell Waldron (pictured with Daisy Edgar-Jones) in BBC Three’s Normal People in 2020. Here MailOnline takes a look at his incredible rise to fame

Talent: And since Paul Mescal's career has gone from strength to strength culminating in an Oscar nomination for Best Actor on Tuesday for his role in Aftersun (pictured)

Talent: And since Paul Mescal’s career has gone from strength to strength culminating in an Oscar nomination for Best Actor on Tuesday for his role in Aftersun (pictured) 

EARLY CAREER

Paul is an Irish actor. Born in Maynooth, he graduated from The Lir Academy in 2017.

Paul landed his first role in 2017 as the titular character in a Dublin production of The Great Gatsby. 

Over the next few years, he landed stage roles in his native Ireland in productions including The Red Shoes, Asking for It, The Lieutenant of Inishmore and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. 

Back to the start: Paul is an Irish actor. Born in Maynooth, he graduated from The Lir Academy in 2017

Back to the start: Paul is an Irish actor. Born in Maynooth, he graduated from The Lir Academy in 2017

NORMAL PEOPLE

Paul became a household name when he was cast in Normal People alongside Daisy-Edgar Jones which was released in 2020 during the first Covid lockdown.

Daisy and Paul starred as lead the characters Marianne Sheridan and Connell Waldron in the hit series based on the novel of the same name by Irish author Sally Rooney. 

Popular: Paul became a household name when he was cast in Normal People alongside Daisy-Edgar Jones which was released in 2020 during the first Covid lockdown

Popular: Paul became a household name when he was cast in Normal People alongside Daisy-Edgar Jones which was released in 2020 during the first Covid lockdown

The romantic drama, which was released on BBC Three in 2020, focused on the on-off relationship between Irish teenagers Marianne and Connell, beginning in their school days through to their time at university.

Mescal’s performance in the 12-episode series earned him universal acclaim. 

He was named Best Actor at the BAFTA TV awards and was nominated for an Emmy and Critics’ Choice Award in the United States. 

Success: He was named Best Actor at the BAFTA TV awards and was nominated for an Emmy and Critics' Choice Award in the United States

Success: He was named Best Actor at the BAFTA TV awards and was nominated for an Emmy and Critics’ Choice Award in the United States

SUBSEQUENT ACTING ROLES

Mescal then made his feature debut in 2021, alongside Oscar winner Olivia Colman in Maggie Gyllenhaal’s psychological drama The Lost Daughter. 

The film was nominated for three Oscars.

In late 2022 he also stepped into the role of Stanley Kowalski, made famous by Marlon Brando, in the new production of A Streetcar Named Desire at the Almeida Theatre. 

Film: Mescal then made his feature debut in 2021, alongside Oscar winner Olivia Colman in Maggie Gyllenhaal’s psychological drama The Lost Daughter

Film: Mescal then made his feature debut in 2021, alongside Oscar winner Olivia Colman in Maggie Gyllenhaal’s psychological drama The Lost Daughter

Stanley is one of the most iconic roles in theatre, most famously played by Marlon Brando in the original 1947 Broadway production and subsequent 1952 film. 

A Streetcar Named Desire is at the Almeida Theatre from December 10 – February 4 2023. 

Mescal had done one play in London before – The Plough and the Stars back in 2018. 

Acting: In late 2022 he also stepped into the role of Stanley Kowalski, made famous by Marlon Brando, in the new production of A Streetcar Named Desire at the Almeida Theatre

Acting: In late 2022 he also stepped into the role of Stanley Kowalski, made famous by Marlon Brando, in the new production of A Streetcar Named Desire at the Almeida Theatre

LOVE LIFE AND UNEXPECTED MEETING WITH ANGELINA JOLIE 

On January 3 Angelina Jolie and Paul were pictured grabbing a coffee together after she watched him perform in A Streetcar Named Desire at the Almeida theatre in London. 

The unlikely friends were pictured in the theatre’s coffee shop where they were engaged in conversation while surrounded by empty tables. 

They were joined by Angelina’s daughter Shiloh, 16, for the outing, whose father is Brad Pitt, 59.

Who knew? On January 3 Angelina Jolie and Paul were pictured grabbing a coffee together after she watched him perform in A Streetcar Named Desire at the Almeida theatre in London

Who knew? On January 3 Angelina Jolie and Paul were pictured grabbing a coffee together after she watched him perform in A Streetcar Named Desire at the Almeida theatre in London

There had been rumours swirling at the time that Paul and his fiancée Phoebe Bridgers had broken up soon after reports of their engagement.

And fans of the couple were quick to share their shock over the alleged split as they took to Twitter to share their upset, saying they ‘couldn’t handle’ the news.

Singer Phoebe, 28, fuelled romance rumours with Bo Burnham last week after they looked ‘flirtatious’ at a comedy show, just weeks after her reported split from Paul.

Oh no! There had been rumours swirling at the time that Paul and his fiancée Phoebe Bridgers had broken up soon after reports of their engagement

Oh no! There had been rumours swirling at the time that Paul and his fiancée Phoebe Bridgers had broken up soon after reports of their engagement 

Phoebe and Paul sparked engagement rumors earlier this year before reportedly calling it quits.

They first went Instagram official with their relationship last December, with a very loved-up image of the two of them, soon after making their first red carpet appearance at LACMA Art+Film Gala.

The couple were first romantically linked to one another after a source told The Sun that they spent a weekend together in August 2020.

OSCAR NOMINATION 

On Tuesday Paul was nominated in the Best Actor category for the Oscars which will take place in March.

In a statement after the announcement he said: ‘This is truly a special moment for everyone involved in Aftersun. To be recognised by the Academy is such an insane honour and I’m so utterly grateful. 

‘I want to dedicate this nomination to my two friends Charlotte and Frankie who I love dearly! This is bananas, thank you!’

Paul’s younger sister said she felt ‘sick with pride’ as she shared a photo of the moment her brother discovered he was an Academy Award nominee.

The star looked absolutely delighted after receiving the incredible news.

Shortly after the nominations were announced, Paul’s emotional sister Nell, 19, shared photos of the moment on her social media channels.

Yay! On Tuesday Paul was nominated in the Best Actor category for the Oscars which will take place in March

Yay! On Tuesday Paul was nominated in the Best Actor category for the Oscars which will take place in March 

Nell posted a screen grab of a video call between her family as they learned the news together, each looking equally ecstatic.

She then shared an image of just Paul with a beaming smile on his face.

The Normal People actor was sat perched on the side of a sofa, wearing a black T-shirt and jeans, holding his phone in his hand.

Nell also shared a full list of the Best Actor nominees on her Instagram Stories, which of course included her brother’s name.

So sweet! His sister Nell posted a screen grab of a video call between her family as they learned the news together, each looking equally ecstatic

So sweet! His sister Nell posted a screen grab of a video call between her family as they learned the news together, each looking equally ecstatic

Paul’s latest bout of good news comes after he was also nominated for a BAFTA for the same role. 

He picked up a British Academy Television Award for Best Actor in 2021 for his role as Connell in Normal People.

Aftersun tells the story of a girl called Sophie, played by Frankie Corio, who is reflecting on the shared joy and private melancholy of a holiday she took with her father twenty years earlier. 

The nominations were announced by Riz Ahmed and Allison Williams ahead of the 95th Academy Awards, which will take place on Sunday March 12. 

Paul joins fellow British and Irish nominees Colin Farrell, Bill Nighy and Andrea Riseborough, who have garnered nods in the Best Actor and Actress categories.

The star-studded Oscars ceremony, due to be hosted by US talk show host and comedian Jimmy Kimmel, will take place on March 12 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. 

WTF: Nell also shared a full list of the Best Actor nominees on her Instagram Stories, which of course included her brother's name

WTF: Nell also shared a full list of the Best Actor nominees on her Instagram Stories, which of course included her brother’s name

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk