Irish Oscar nominee Paul Mescal has revealed he uses an unusual technique to focus the mind while acting out sex scenes.
The Kildare man – who once starred in an advert for Denny’s sausage – will travel to the Academy Awards in March, having secured a nod for his performance the independent drama Aftersun.
The former county footballer and his family members have been busy with media duties since the Oscars shortlist was announced last week.
Mescal has appeared on the latest episode of Off Menu, the podcast hosted by English comedians James Acaster and Ed Gamble.
Each week Gamble and Acaster invite special guests into their “magical restaurant” ask them to order their “dream meal” – including a favourite starter, main course, side dish, dessert and drink.
Acaster described Mescal as a “phenomenal actor” and admitted that he was “completely engrossed” by the 2020 lockdown hit Normal People.
The trio started off by joking about what noises the actor makes while he’s eating good food - with Mescal mimicking himself saying, "Oh, oh, my God. Oh, my God” - before Acaster suggested he would think about his favourite dishes while filming intimate scenes if he were an actor.
“I would think about food memories if I had to do sex scene,” Acaster said.
“I would think about really delicious food and how I felt about it because then that’s not sexual.
“But we won’t ask you about shooting sex scenes, I’m sure you’ve been asked it a million times,” he added talking to Mescal.
Much to the comedian’s surprise however, Mescal said he does just that.
“I mean, I’m always thinking about food during sex scenes. That’s an exclusive, it’s what I think about,” he said.
Included in Mescal’s dream meal was Mexican cola, which described as “eye-opening”, and chicken wings he had in Dublin restaurant Elephant and Castle “circa the 2010s”.
He also talked about a specific pasta carbonara dish that he once ate in the Puglia region of southern Italy.
“My dream main course. This is the one that I'm most nervous about because I feel like it's too simple, but the main course that I want is a spaghetti carbonara that I had in a restaurant in Puglia. I've always loved carbonara but I've never had it in Italy. Like, it was always the thing that I would get in restaurants in Dublin and London, and it's different. It was just the most simple, kind of, perfect ingredients, the right portion size, the pancetta was just salty deliciousness and the restaurant that we were in was this cave in Puglia with sunset and bats flying around and I was like, 'This is pretty perfect’,” he said.
For an after dinner drink the actor chose a specific cocktail from the high-end London hotel Nomad.
“They do this cocktail called the Sergeant Pepper and it is just stunning. It's in a little, like, small, little glass. It's jalapeno, kind of, Tequila based, but with coriander, pineapple, and it's green and really cold and just spicy and sweet. Just keep them coming,” he said.
Mescal also spoke about his love Irish brown bread, real butter, chips potatoes and his mother going “buck mad” food shopping at Christmas time.
“Like, goes crazy. When I came back last Christmas, the fridge was just full of cheese and we're not a big cheese family. Like, I like a board of cheese but she didn't know that a charcuterie board was called that, so, she called it, 'Now, I got you a chuterie board and it's lovely'. I love my mum dearly but, like, pronouncing things is not her forte,” he added.