Paul Mescal may be known for starring in a show called Normal People, but his life is anything but ordinary at the moment.
Prior to starring in the BBC production, the Irishman had only worked in theater, but now finds himself with an Emmy nod for his first-ever TV role.
In the sexy and emotional limited series, he plays Connell Waldron, a character that evolves greatly over the course of the 12 episodes. Mescal tells E! News that he feels "very privileged" for being able to portray a character as vulnerable and thoughtful as Connell.
And though the 24-year-old is proud of his performance, he says he can't entirely "comprehend" being nominated alongside big names like Hugh Jackman and Mark Ruffalo.
He shows even more humility when he tells us that his newfound status as a sex-symbol is only "temporary." Although, lovers of a chain-wearing Connell Waldron would beg to differ.
Continue reading to learn what happened to that chain, how he'll celebrate his nomination and more!
E!: How do you feel, how did you find out?
PM: How did I find out... I knew that the nominations were at half four so I had to put my phone down. I was kind of just waiting to see if my phone would vibrate or not and then it did. And then I ran out of rehearsals and I've been on the phone ever since.
E!: It must feel amazing, this is your first big mainstream role and here you are getting nominated for an Emmy.
PM: Yeah, I genuinely really struggle to kind of comprehend—I struggled with the whole thing in terms of feeling incredibly lucky to be working on that job in the first place and then to be in this position now, it just feels ridiculous to be totally honest. I feel like I'm cheesing or something. It just feels really, really exciting.
E!: The scene that has gotten a lot of reaction is the one with you talking to the therapist. How do you feel about what people are saying in terms of that emotional scene?
PM: I think what I find incredibly powerful is the kind of conversation that it sparked, about seeing a male figure normalizing essentially men in therapy and seeing men in that kind of vulnerable position. Which we don't often get to see, not that we've never seen it, but I feel very privileged that I got to play somebody and bring it to an audience in that capacity. The response after it has been really satisfying.
E!: Did you keep the chain?
PM: I didn't, I gave it to Daisy [Edgar Jones] as a wrap gift.
E!: How have you adjusted to the reaction from the show especially since it's so sexy and showing that kind of vulnerability?
PM: It's very sex forward, obviously. I try not to think about it too much honestly because I don't think it's particularly useful... It's not permanent, it's a temporary thing I think.
E!: Have any celebrity fans reached out to you about the show, is there anybody you're super excited to have heard from?
PM: Oh like tons, there's been tons of people that have reached out. The one recently, I think two or three weeks ago, Hugh Jackman reached out and I'm a massive, super fan of him. He sent the most gorgeous email and now I'm kind of pinching myself that I'm nominated in the same category as him and it just feels really surreal.
E!: How will you celebrate tonight?
PM: I will drink some alcohol and then, yeah. That's as far as I've gotten in terms of a plan. I have no idea what I'm going to do after that, probably go to sleep.
E!: Will you celebrate with anybody from the cast like Daisy?
PM: No, she's not nearby at the moment. I wish desperately that we could but I think I'm going to see her this week at some point so we'll celebrate then.
E!: Feels like it goes without saying you guys are going to be bonded forever.
PM: Oh without question, yeah. Totally.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.