Paul Mescal Just Has a Taste for Depressing Movies


Do you ever lie awake wondering why Paul Mescal keeps taking roles in devastating films? He’s such a good actor that we had no choice but to watch a distressing coming-of-age story about a depressive father on vacation or that one in which anyone suffering from mommy issues would leave the theater crying and throwing up — and that’s not to mention the TV show that made him famous, which indirectly capitalized on our pandemic-induced horniness and isolation for a tearjerker Sally Rooney adaptation. Like, we get it — he listens to Mitski and dated Phoebe Bridgers, but why do I feel like I’m in for an emotional breakdown every time I turn on one of his things? How does he choose his next job? “It’s a gut feeling,” he explains to Natalie Portman in a Variety Actors on Actors interview. “I feel very lucky that I know what I like. That’s not something that actors talk about enough. I don’t believe in the concept of ‘building a career’ — I think that comes through cultivating your taste. Films like All of Us Strangers or Aftersun feel very much in conversation with each other. But also, I don’t want an audience to be bored or to expect that kind of film from me.” It seems as though we’ll have to remain on our toes. Maybe he’ll make us watch a musical next [shudders].


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