Since his breakout role in Hulu’s Normal People, actor and former sausage salesmen Paul Mescal has kept himself pretty busy with project after project. He’s even decided to remain busy for the foreseeable future with a 20-year filming schedule, courtesy of Richard Linklater’s upcoming adaptation of Merrily We Go Around. Well, it looks like all that hard work was worth it, as Mescal revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that he didn’t need to face an arena of multiple auditions in snagging the lead role in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator 2.
Reported to be a highly coveted role for many young Hollywood actors at the time (except for Timothée Chalamet, whose manager refuted claims of him ever auditioning as he hasn’t done so “in more than 7 years”), Mescal said that he only had one meeting with Scott in which they “discussed the parameter of the story.”
“Then, after the fact, I was given a script,” Mescal tells The Hollywood Reporter about the meeting. “And I’m so proud I get to make it. It’s an intimidating feat. It’s something I’m nervous about but something I feel like I can do.”
With an Oscar nomination already under his belt for Aftersun, Mescal seems more than ready to take on a major blockbuster film. In the sequel, the story will follow Mescal as an adult Lucius, who appears in the original film as the son of Lucilla (Connie Nielson) and the nephew of the sinister Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix). Though, it’s not a tough hunch in guessing something must have gone horribly wrong for Lucius and his well-off Roman family, sending him to fight to the death in a coliseum for thousands.
Before we get see Mescal face off in the arena for Gladiator 2, the actor will next be seen in a modern re-imagining of the musical Carmen, starring beside Scream VI’s Melissa Barrera.