The rise to fame for Paul Mescal of late has been extraordinary, with his performance in the beautiful 2022 movie Aftersun earning him recognition as part of the Oscars 2023 nominations. But, the actor comes from humble beginnings, with his first TV role coming in the form of an advert for sausages.
Mescal shot to stardom with his role in the TV series Normal People in 2020, before appearing in the Netflix movie The Lost Daughter and the A24 movie God’s Creatures. It’s his role in the drama movie Aftersun that has really put him on the map, though.
However, there’s every chance Mescal wouldn’t be where he is now were it not for a commercial job he took at a time when he had no money. Mescal discussed the role with the BBC.
“If I ever feel like I get too big for my boots, it kind of pops up somewhere that we shouldn’t forget that I was promoting sausages when I got out of drama school,” Mescal said.
“I trained in drama school for three years, and took it so seriously. It was like, I loved the craft of it, and then I was poor. My agent was like, ‘I don’t know how you’ll deal with this, but we’ve got a sausage advert that you can go on.’ I was like, ‘absolutely. I need to pay my rent,'” he added.
In the ad, Mescal chomps on some sausages as he contemplates travelling the globe. The experience wasn’t all that fun, though, as Mescal recalled one decision on the day came back to bite him. “They do this thing where they come around with like a bucket that you’re supposed to spit them out into, and that just felt rude to me. But I learned my lesson that it’s better to do that than have to eat 15 sausages in a morning. That was an experience.”
You can catch Mescal in Aftersun on the streaming service Mubi at the moment. Or, look ahead to his new movie, with our guide to the Gladiator 2 release date.