The Normal People star has been shooting a film in Sydney
Paul Mescal admits he had to pinch himself to realise how lucky he was to go to nightclubs in Sydney while Ireland is stuck in lockdown.
The Kildare actor confessed there is no way he would have allowed himself to go to Australia to shoot his new movie if it wasn't for the pandemic, as he would have insisted on spending time at home with his grandparents at Christmas if he could.
The 24-year-old old is currently filming a big screen version of Carmen, having flown to Sydney in early December.
Australian quarantine rules are strict and Mescal had to spend two weeks isolating, but after getting the all-clear, he took to the beaches and went partying.
“Things had got so institutionalised, but then I got here and couldn’t believe that I actually got to go to a nightclub – it was like an assault on the senses,” he said.
Feeling lonely over Christmas, he rang his younger brother Donnacha.
“I rang my brother, because I was feeling a little down, and he just said, 'Oh will you just be f***ing happy you’re in Sydney.' And he’s right. Now perspective is my best friend.”
Mescal became an overnight star thanks to Normal People, in which he played Connell opposite Daisy Edgar-Jones (Marianne).
“When you strip away the professional side of things, I had the same response to the pandemic as everyone else,” he told the Daily Telegraph of his success last year.
“Seeing the numbers of people dying is just brutal. Obviously this is a year that has changed my life and I’m incredibly grateful for it, but if you boil it all down, everybody is feeling the same frustration.”
He reveals he would have not travelled to Australia if Covid-19 had not happened.
“All I still just really want is to see my grandparents,” he said.
“This was my first Christmas away from home, and had Covid not happened, there is no way I would have spent those months anywhere but with my family.
“I felt a responsibility to look after them in those circumstances. I wanted to tell them, ‘Look it’s all going to be fine, it’s just a little bit weird.’’