“Your parents don’t always have the answers”

Even Paul Mescal himself – he is only now becoming widely known as the sensitive lover Normal people and a nice distraction in The lost daughter — can admit that it’s strange for him to play the father of a teenager. But After the sunthe delicate indie drama in which the 26-year-old Irish actor does just that, uses the slight quirkiness to his advantage.

“It’s not a standard father-daughter relationship,” Mescal says of Calum, a young divorcee on holiday with 11-year-old Sophie (Frankie Corio, a real find). “I think they’re friends first and foremost. And of course he’s a disciplinarian when he wants to be, when he’s nervous about certain corners of the world he doesn’t really want her to venture into. But there are other times. when says: “I’ve taken all the drugs in the world and you can too. Just promise me you’ll tell me.” You basically see a young man navigating as a father, and I was able to access him a little easier than the father. And I just hoped that the love I felt for Frankie would translate into something that felt authentic.”

After the sun

After the sun


After the sun is garnering the year’s most rave reviews, a steady stream of praise not only for the two actors, but also for its first-time feature director, 35-year-old Charlotte Wells. (Wells recently accepted the Breakthrough Director award at the Gotham Awards.) Paradoxically, for a movie with Oscar buzz you can hear about months in advance, his performances are the opposite of loud. Mescal, in particular, conveys an endearing sense of confusion that signals she’s more than just a rising star, but a Streep-like talent who should be around for a while.

“It asked me to remember my relationship with my own parents in a way I had never thought about,” says Mescal. “And how demanding it is for parents. When you’re a kid, you look up to them as icons—they’re the people who teach you everything. But what I think this movie does is show you that your parents. they don’t always have the answers, but they’re expected to have them.”

You can listen to more of our interview with Mescal in the podcast episode below, where he talked about the power of a quiet script, the focus he’s tried his hardest to avoid, and the rush of being a Cannes sensation . Plus, watch the full episode to hear Team Awardist’s thoughts on Mescal’s Oscar chances, our in-room impressions of the Academy Governors Awards, and more.

Reporting by Dave Karger.

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