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Image / Agenda / Breaking Stories

Paul Mescal has made his way onto the 2023 TIME100 Next list, and rightly so


By Sarah Gill
14th Sep 2023
Paul Mescal has made his way onto the 2023 TIME100 Next list, and rightly so

Colin Farrell writes about the actor’s intrinsic honesty and signature sincerity as Paul Mescal is named among the 100 artists, phenoms, innovators, leaders and advocates to keep an eye on.

It’s another great day for the parish.

Kildare’s proudest export is bringing home the accolades yet again as the 27-year-old actor has been named among some of the greatest, most influential leaders in the TIME100 Next list. His fellow inspiring artists include Emma Corrin of The Crown, Maya Hawke of Stranger Things, and singer-songwriter Kali Uchis.

For those who may not be familiar, TIME Magazine releases a TIME100 list of the most influential across many different fields each year, and in 2019, they decided to add a fresh element in the form of the ‘Next’ list. Looking at the names and faces that are pushing things forward and creating a brighter future, this list recognises the rising leaders spanning health, climate, business, sports, the arts and more.

Inviting today’s leaders to pay tribute to those following in their footsteps, it came as no surprise that it was Colin Farrell who penned Mr Mescal’s, and it is genuinely very touching. Having both been nominated for Best Actor at this year’s Oscars, it’s a testament in itself to the speed at which Mescal has ascended the ranks, and now finds himself brushing soldiers with the people that were once his heroes.

“Why is it that the finest actors leave us with the sense that we know them?” Farrell begins. “Even if they are—in life—unknown to us. Paul Mescal exemplifies the answer to that question, for there is something indelibly honest about his work. Something that allows us a feeling of recognition. It’s not so much what he shows you, but instead what he makes of himself available for you to see.”

Farrell goes on to touch upon first impressions: “There are things that an artist can grow into: craft, a deepening of the heart. But there is an honesty to some actors so intrinsic that it forms the foundation upon which all else grows. The first time I saw Paul perform, what moved me was his ability to stand in silence and take in the world around him so I could experience it through him.

“I was riveted, and it has been the same in every performance since. It is the sincerity of his every word and gesture that makes me so excited for what he’s yet to share with us.”

Who would have thought that when he first graced our screen, happy as a clam on his way to Ballyhaunis, that his star would rise quite so far? Well, Saoirse Ronan knew, that’s who. Speaking to Harper’s Bazaar last month, she said, “The first time I saw Paul act was in a commercial for Denny’s sausages in Ireland. He’ll kill me for mentioning it, but—I’m not actually joking—that was the first time I went, ‘Oh, who’s that guy? He’s really good.’”

Look, I’ve bragged about it before and I’ll brag about it again every chance I get: I saw Paul Mescal in the Abbey Theatre when he played Bryan in the stage adaptation of Lousie O’Neill’s Asking For It. So basically what I’m saying is that I knew long before Saoirse Ronan, the Academy, and perhaps even before Lenny Abrahamson.

Where we was once, for a brief moment, most closely associated with GAA shorts, silver chains and Denny’s sausages, Paul Mescal has eclipsed the stunning portrayal of the achingly introverted Connell Waldron in Normal People that made the world fall in love with him with a catalogue of incredible films and character choices.

Next to hit the big screen will be Foe, in which he stars alongside Ms Ronan, and All Of Us Strangers, in which he will play opposite everyone’s favourite hot priest, Andrew Scott. We rounded all his upcoming released here, so make sure to have a look.