When Irish actor Paul Mescal landed the role of Connell Waldron on the BBC and Hulu series normal people In 2020 he could never have predicted how his life would change.
Paul’s performance ultimately earned him critical acclaim, and the following year he received a BAFTA for his role.
In a very short time he has become one of the most respected rising stars in the acting industry.
Fast forward to 2023, and Paul is up for the Best Actor Oscar for his role in the film in 2022 at next month’s Academy Awards After sun.
But despite his rapid climb up the ladder, Paul cannot escape the sexualization that accompanies it normal people Role.
The series is known for its steamy sex scenes after the actor agreed to be frontally nude in lengthy sequences.
And in November, Paul spoke about the negative encounters with viewers that inspired his sex scenes — with one case in particular infuriating him.
Speaking to GQ at the time, the star recalled the “damn rude” moment when a woman told him she had saved a naked screenshot of him.
She approached him for a photo at a bachelorette party in Ireland and said to him: “I didn’t like the show but I’ve seen your Willy and I have a photo!”
Admitting he had never felt anger like this before, Paul said: “I remember for the first time I was really angry. I thought, ‘That’s bloody rude!’ It’s embarrassing for you, it’s embarrassing for me, it’s embarrassing for my friends and now I have to say no to you.’”
People were appalled by Paul’s story at the time, with many criticizing the woman for the “invasive and dehumanizing” way she’d treated the actor.
However, not everyone learned from their experience, and Paul has now opened up about yet another unacceptable experience with a female fan.
In December, Paul began starring in a revival of the play End station longingand a fan recently stopped him outside the theater to ask for a photo.
“When we posed for it, she put her hand on my butt,” Paul said in a new interview with ES Magazine.
He went on to explain that he “thought it was an accident” and tried to move his body away from her. “But the hand followed,” Paul continued. “I remember tensing up and just feeling angry.”
At this point, Paul reluctantly confronted the woman. He said: “I turned to her and said, ‘What are you doing? Take your hand off my ass.’”
“The last thing I want to do is call someone outside the theater — it’s awkward for everyone involved — but it really wasn’t okay,” he added. “It was so gross, creepy.”
Despite telling two similar stories in such a short space of time, Paul insisted that “97%” of being a celebrity is “really nice,” before adding, “Then 3% is someone who grabs your ass.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Paul said he refuses to let the negative experiences influence the roles he takes on.
“Ultimately, I don’t want it to affect my decisions,” he explained. “Nudity and sexuality in art, film and theater are beautiful and important. It’s important that we don’t let the aftermath — the people who are predatory and crappy — sway the decisions we make creatively. I insist that will never happen.”
Paul went on to admit that he felt “a little more comfortable” with being sexualized by people after making a conscious choice not to let it “consume” him.
He shared, “I can get mad at any person who hid a nude picture of me somewhere, or I can just let it go.”