Ridley Scott Says He Couldn’t Stop Thinking About Paul Mescal After Watching Normal People

Paul Mescal Gladiator

After witnessing Paul Mescal in the Irish miniseries Normal People, Ridley Scott cast him in Gladiator 2.

Following on from Scott’s original Academy Award-winning historical epic, Mescal will portray Lucius, the nephew of the power-hungry Commodus played by Joaquin Phoenix. Mescal, a relatively fresh figure in Hollywood, made his feature film debut in 2021’s The Lost Daughter, written and directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Scott told to Total Film Magazine confessed that the series was not his normal fare, although he was so impressed with Mescal’s performance that he felt forced to cast him in Gladiator 2.

“Can I see Paul Mescal being as big as Russell Crowe? For sure. I watched Normal People. It’s not my kind of show but I saw four episodes in a row – boom, boom, boom. I was thinking, ‘Who the hell is this Paul Mescal?’ And then I watched the whole series.”

He continued, “And then, suddenly, Gladiator 2 came up, because the script was working pretty well. And I kept thinking about Paul. And that was it.”

Mescal looks to have the skills required to give a noteworthy portrayal as the son of Connie Nielsen’s Lucilla. It remains to be seen whether his time in the spotlight will bring him the same type of critical praise that Crowe once did.



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