Oscar nomination day, was a truly great day for all us Paul Mescal fans, as the actor picked up his first Academy Award nod for his performance in the indie-darling Aftersun. The 26-year-old actor has grown quite the fanbase following his breakout performance in Hulu’s adaptation of Normal People. Now, a few years later, and after a fairly quiet campaign for the actor to get an Oscar nomination for Charlotte Wells’ A24 film, fans were ecstatic when they found out he had made his way onto the list of 2023 Oscar nominees.
Mescal’s Best Actor nod was one of the many shocks from the Oscar nominations. While many of those surprises included numerous Oscar snubs, this nomination for Aftersun was unexpected exciting news for both cinephiles and Mescal’s fans, which was made very clear by all the reactions on Twitter.
Orla Gartland, a singer whose music was featured in an episode of Normal People, set the tone for how many feel about Mescal’s nomination, posting:
January 24 truly was a day of celebration for fans of Paul Mescal and Aftersun. The movie has been beloved by critics, and it was one of the best under-the-radar movies of 2022. While Aftersun is a small, independent movie about a father and a daughter as well as Wells’ directorial debut, it received critical acclaim and love from those who saw it. Since the Oscar race began there’s been a push for the lead actor to nab a nomination, and now that he has, it’s cause for celebration.
Maria captured the energy surrounding the news perfectly, by tweeting:
ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATED PAUL MESCAL pic.twitter.com/oqEmg089vvJanuary 24, 2023
Another fan of Mescal’s, Alex, posted a meme from Family Guy, and noted that the actor’s nomination shows that there is hope for actors in smaller, beloved films to make their way to the Oscars:
PAUL MESCAL IS AN ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEEE maybe the Oscar’s can live another day pic.twitter.com/JbAFC9M6KBJanuary 24, 2023
Others were quick to point out that this nomination is great news for “sad women everywhere” considering Mescal’s track record of taking on melancholy and melodramatic projects that tend to be tearjerkers — like Normal People, Aftersun and The Lost Daughter, just to name a few. SpanishPeaches also captured this point perfectly, by posting a video from Abbott Elementary:
Paul Mescal’s oscar nomination is a win for very sad women everywhere pic.twitter.com/iAkrFkHqz0January 24, 2023
We’ll round out this roundup with some tweets about how this nomination truly shows how good Paul Mescal is at his job. This is true especially when you take into consideration Aftersun is his first lead role in a film. Also, it's worth noting that he received an Emmy nomination for his work on Normal People, which was his first job every playing a principal role. As david tweeted:
paul mescal getting an oscar nomination for his first lead role in a movie… i fear for his peers pic.twitter.com/MQy1qp8Y7pJanuary 24, 2023
Wendell also pointed out Mescal’s stellar track record, noting just how impressive his tiny but mighty resume is. They posted:
It's absolutely incredible how Paul Mescal, with only like one previous project under his belt, went with a small directorial debut from Charlotte Wells to be his first lead role in a film and now he's an Oscar nominee pic.twitter.com/xpn99rLtslJanuary 24, 2023
Clearly, there is a massive love for Mescal, one that I’d compare to the earlier days of Timothée Chalamet’s career. Not only is he beloved by his fans, he’s also respected and appreciated by his peers. Also, based on recent news about Mescal’s upcoming projects, it sounds like he’s just getting started.
Along with his quiet Oscar campaign, the last few months have also brought us a few massive announcements about Mescal’s upcoming projects. It was announced that he was cast in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator 2 as the lead. News also broke that he had joined Richard Linklater’s adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s musical Merrily We Roll Along, which will film over the next 20 years. On top of all this, the actor has six other projects in development.
I think it’s safe to say Mescal is making his mark on Hollywood, and many are extremely excited about his accomplishments, and what’s to come.
As we wait for Mescal’s appearance at this year's Oscars, you can rent or buy Aftersun on Amazon (opens in new tab). Also, be sure to check out the 2023 movie schedule to stay up to date on all the new projects coming from this rising star.