Paul Mescal: BBC Apologizes for Labeling Him British Actor

Written by on February 2, 2023

The Oscar-nominated “Aftersun” star is Irish.

It’s Brexit 2.0 as the BBC received hundreds of complaints from Paul Mescal fans for incorrectly labeling the Oscar nominee as a “British actor.”

“2023 Oscar nominations: British actors Paul Mescal and Bill Nighy are nominated for leading role,” a BBC on-air report stated. Nighy is nominated for “Living,” while Mescal is recognized for “Aftersun” at the Academy Awards. However, Mescal is an Irish actor.

Per Deadline, the BBC received 605 complaints over the mistake. The U.K. broadcaster issued a statement reading, “The text should have said that Paul Mescal is Irish. We apologize for the mistake.”

Mescal previously tweeted “I’m Irish” in 2020 and taught “Late Night Show” host Stephen Colbert how to pull off the accent. Mescal marked his breakout role in the Hulu adaptation of Sally Rooney’s “Normal People” set in Ireland and earned an Emmy nomination for his turn as Connell. The star plays a Scottish father in Charlotte Wells’ “Aftersun.”

As for his Gaelic roots, Mescal was born in Maynooth, a town west of Dublin. His mother is a member of Ireland’s police service and his father is a teacher; Mescal later attended drama school Lir Academy in Dublin.

“Acting crept up on me. I didn’t know actors growing up. I didn’t know of any peers going to drama school,” Mescal told The Irish Times. “Had I lived in London or LA or New York, there would be a clearer path. I knew there were Irish actors, but none of them came from Maynooth. So it was the school musical. I enjoyed that. I didn’t know you could have it as a job. I got through schools playing Gaelic football.”

Mescal reflected on being Irish in Hollywood, telling British GQ, “I think Irish people are incredibly proud and that’s a really nice kind of buoyant feeling and then at other times it can be like, ‘Don’t get too big for your boots.’ It’s like tall poppy syndrome. I’ve witnessed it with other Irish actors or musicians. It’s kind of ironic because the fact that I’m saying this will lead to a portion of like, Irish mammies and daddies who will be like, ‘Well, look at him off on his high horse drinking a pint in London.’”

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