First-Time Emmy Nominee Paul Mescal Tweets ‘I’m Irish’ After UK Newspapers Call the ‘Normal People’ Star British

Paul Mescal is setting the record straight. The first-time Emmy nominee and star of Hulu’s Normal People is clarifying that he is, in fact, Irish. The actor felt compelled to speak out after several UK publications mistakenly identified him as British when reporting on news of his nomination in the Outstanding Lead Actor In A Limited Series category. 

Paul Mescal lands Emmy nomination for his first major TV role 

Connell and Marianne wearing school uniforms
Normal People | Hulu

RELATED: ‘Normal People’ Star Paul Mescal Talks About the Pressure of Playing Connell

Newcomer Mescal scored an Emmy nod for playing Connell in Normal People, his first major TV role. The Hulu limited series, which is based on a 2018 novel by Irish writer Sally Rooney, follows the relationship between working-class Connell and Marianne (Daisy Edgar-Jones), a social outcast from a well-off family, from high school through their years at Dublin’s Trinity College. 

The actor told Vulture he was “really, really happy” to be nominated alongside Hugh Jackman, Mark Ruffalo, and Jeremy Pope. Many others were equally excited that he was recognized for his work, including several UK newspapers who apparently wanted to claim the actor as one of their own. 

Paul Mescal wants people to know he’s Irish 

Both The Guardian and the Daily Mail referred to Mescal as British when first reporting on the Emmy news. Andrew Scott, who is also Irish and was nominated for his work in Black Mirror, was mistakenly identified as British as well. (Both publications have since updated their stories to reflect the actors’ correct nationality.) 

The mistake was no minor error for many Irish people. “Why is this still happening in 2020?? Just stop calling Irish people British there’s no excuse,” tweeted Derry Girls actor Nicola Coughlan. Several people who replied to her tweet pointed to the apparent confusion over Mescal’s identity as a legacy of British colonialism. 

Mescal himself felt the need to make his nationality clear, simply tweeting, “I’m Irish.”

“The way people think you’re British when you play an IRISH character in an IRISH show, and you’re from Kildare, in IRELAND what’s not clicking?” one fan replied.

Mescal wishes his co-star had been nominated too

Paul Mescal
Paul Mescal | Erik Voake/Getty Images for Hulu

In his chat with Vulture, Mescal expressed excitement over his Emmy nomination but said he was disappointed that his co-star didn’t get similar recognition in the best actress category. 

“If it was me I would have given her all the love in that category,” he said. “I can’t speak highly enough of the work she did on the show. I know there are extraordinary actresses nominated in that category, but I think Daisy’s work is just phenomenal in this.”

“The fact that I’m nominated is a testament to the work that she’s done,” the actor said. “Normal People is the kind of show that — the relationship between Connell and Marianne [is central]. I was thanking her for being an amazing person but also the best scene partner anyone could ever ask for.”

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