Paul Mescal discusses pressures of fame on Louis Theroux podcast

Paul Mescal Discusses Pressures Of Fame On Louis Theroux Podcast
Louis Theroux has launched the second series of The Louis Theroux Podcast and Irish actor Paul Mescal is his first guest.
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James Cox

Louis Theroux has launched the second series of The Louis Theroux Podcast and Irish actor Paul Mescal is his first guest.

The interviewer and broadcaster kicked off the new series today with Bafta winner and Academy Award nominee Mescal.


Mescal is nominated for Best Supporting Actor at this year’s Baftas for his role in All of Us Strangers, released this week. He stars alongside Andrew Scott in the romantic drama.

During their candid conversation, Theroux and Mescal reflect on the Kildare native's career, discussing how quickly he rose to fame with his role in the runaway success Normal People, earning him his Bafta and Emmy recognitions. Mescal touches on his childhood and the impact social media has had on his life and mental health.

Mescal talks openly to Theroux about how his life has changed since starring in Normal People. He admits “to go from totally anonymous to not anonymous is kind of the biggest jump. You develop your own set of rules… but you develop a kind of coping mechanism from that junction and the rest is hopefully gonna stay nice and level”.

Going from totally anonymous, to not so anonymous meant Mescal had to deal with the recurring mistake of people referring to him as British. He goes on to explain how it stirred up a viral conversation on Twitter and how he "had to quote a headline on Twitter to tell people I was Irish, it was apparently the most retweeted tweet on Irish Twitter that year”.


Theroux and Paul delve into Mescal’s boundaries and the ongoing narratives created about him online. Talking on past experiences, Theroux shares how he resonates with Mescal’s experience being in the public eye.

Mescal describes the experience as your “body and mind naturally going to protect itself, but then again the danger I see with other actors is that they over protect themselves,” resulting in many actors “shutting off from the rest of the world".

The pair also dive into the power of social media and how the strain caused Mescal to take a step back from his social channels.

Initially, Theroux thought the reason behind Mescal coming off social media was due to “trolls and anxiety".

However, Mescal says he felt a constant pressure to post trailers and photoshoots, resulting in feeling like a “commodity".

Of his performance in All of Us Strangers, Theroux remarked that the “excellent” film should win “tonnes of Oscars”, to which Mescal replied “I’m going to quote you on that”.

The Louis Theroux Podcast is a Spotify podcast, now available everywhere, with new episodes every Tuesday


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