Paul Mezcal takes a short walk through the snow from Jim into a cafe in north London. He gets his head spinning, but Mezcal doesn’t notice. He shivers out of his hooded coat and casually removes his sweater to reveal a ribbed torso clad in a white T-his shirt. stare further.the star of after sun, Scottish director Charlotte Wells’ gentle visual poem about fathers and daughters, takes a seat and rubs your tummy. At that moment, it’s very easy to compare him to Marlon Brando. There are also tight white shirts.
Coincidentally, the Irish-born actor also plays one of the brand’s signature roles. It’s Tennessee Williams’ groundbreaking play about the brutal but passionate Stanley Kowalski. A Streetcar Named Desire, at the Almeida Theater, a 5 minute walk from where we were having breakfast. A revival has been in Mescal’s plans for his three years, but has been delayed due to Covid and scheduling issues. Early previews were consolidated with extended rehearsals as Lydia Wilson pulled out of the production for health reasons, after which Patsy Phelan, director Rebecca Frecknall’s frequent collaborator, replaced Blanche Dubois. rice field.
Now in her late 20s, Mezcal has been on a roll since the BBC adapted Sally Rooney’s 2018 novel. ordinary people was shown on BBC TV and Hulu during the pandemic. Audiences enjoyed the wistful yet honest relationship drama from the comfort of their sofas. The series made Mezcal an overnight star, threw him up the proverbial ladder and earned him a TV BAFTA for Best Actor. That capital was used wisely, introducing him to the world of feature films with a small but pivotal role in Maggie Gyllenhaal’s critically acclaimed directorial debut. lost daughter as an innocent beach bartender who pulls the film’s aloof, spiny protagonist (Olivia Colman) out of its shell.
I was in the middle of getting ready to shoot my next movie. creature of godMezcal Heard the Wind in Wells, with Emily Watson in Donegal, Ireland after sunHis agents, Curtis Brown’s Lara Beach and CAA’s Zach Kaplan, were thrilled to hear that the estranged young father and his pre-teen daughter were vacationing at a resort in Turkey. The story, a distorted memory of the unraveling of a supposedly vulnerable father, unfolds through the eyes of a little girl. I highly recommend meeting him.
He auditioned for the role of his father, Callum, and then read Chemical Reaction with 12-year-old Frankie Corio, who had already been cast as his daughter, Sophie. This, he says, was a real test of whether or not to believe the two actors, despite Welles’ “great script and direction,” as the film was “life or death.” Luckily, he and Corio got away quickly. “She’s wild, wild, just like Frankie is wild,” he says, spreading a smile as he speaks.
In proof, Mezcal proudly cites the British Independent Film Awards (aka BIFA). after sun Winner of seven awards, including Best British Independent Film and Best Director. At the pre-Christmas awards ceremony in London, Corio’s speech went viral after he playfully roasted mezcal in front of a roomful of industry insiders, before exclaiming: – A star, and I was a star!”
Mezcal laughs. “Generally speaking, I don’t know if I’m particularly good with children, but somehow it was easier with Frankie. Perhaps, like the chemistry that exists between people, other than that. I can’t explain it, and we were lucky.”
When asked which poem would be best associated with the film, Mezcal cited “Father Whistled,” a dedication of Thomas Lux as a “love poem to his father.” He then recites a passage from another poem about a daughter teething for the first time. “Very kind,” he says softly. But it may have been Barry Jenkins, one of the film’s producers through his PASTEL production company, who more concisely expressed the film’s emotional core. new york times He “walks through a world of quiet anguish” when he describes Callum, a loving but emotionally ill-equipped young man, as clearly buckling under the pressures of parenthood. .
Mezcal nodded in agreement. “I think it hits the mark,” he says. “I don’t think it’s particularly funny when someone sees him suffer for 96 minutes or he suffers for 97 minutes. I think it’s more effective when you see them trying. No And I think Calum really doesn’t want to have the set of emotions he’s been given. And you see him routinely against it. Where is it for me…” He pauses. “It devastates me, you know? What’s harder to see than someone who wants to be better?”
The talk turns to masculinity, hiding emotions, and how men are often slow to take care of their mental health. I think,” he says. “For example, when I told my dad I started going to therapy, he was like, ‘Huh? What’s going on?'” he laughs. “Because that’s what you do, culturally. If you’re mentally blocked, go to a therapist.” You’ll look at me and ask, “Why?” So it was defensive at first. I was like, “I’m fine.” And of course that’s not the point. The point is, the way you take care of your body should be the way you take care of it…”
your heart? Mezcal nodded. “Be sure. You Have To. I am so grateful for the time I am in now, not even 20 years ago when it wasn’t really an option. It’s not that it didn’t exist. They would just bottle it. And some people were able to make it through and survive it and get well. ”
He says it’s important to like movies after sun It exists to provoke discussion on subjects that are often sidelined. “There’s catharsis when you see something that makes you feel,” he says, noting that the way Wells’ immersive films deliberately withhold some key information from the audience “makes them think a little more.”
Now, Mezcal wants to take the next step, but admits it’s a process that scares him. “Honestly, I have a desire to be liked, to be admired for my work, but that is not the reason. I don’t want to make a movie like after sun for the rest of my life. I know it will be the foundation, but I’d rather have the cake and eat it. There are other things I want to do and I’ll try, but I’m just scared of being judged on whether I do or not, but this is ridiculous. Movies I don’t need to make, or still making plays and productions. And I don’t think that will change anytime soon. ”