Gladiator 2’s Paul Mescal Got Ripped For The Film, And Co-Star Joseph Quinn Had A Funny Take When Asked If They Had Showdowns In The Gym

 Paul Mescal as he appears in Foe, and Joseph Quinn as he appears on Stranger Things.
Credit: Amazon MGM Studios/Netflix

Ridley Scott’s Gladiator 2, which is set to come out in November per our 2024 movie schedule, has a tough act to follow. The original 2000 film topped the box office and won Best Picture at the Oscars. But the star studded cast seems up to the challenge. The film will see Paul Mescal play an older Lucius Verus, in a story that makes a quarter-century time jump. Mescal got absolutely ripped to play the role and turned a lot of heads for doing so. One of his co-stars, Joseph Quinn, was recently asked whether he had gym showdowns with Mescal, and the actor provided a funny take.

Joseph Quinn spoke with Men’s Health for a wide-ranging interview. And it was during the conversation that he talked about what it was like to train with Paul Mescal, after a clip of his shirtless, ripped co-star lifting weights went viral on the Internet. Given the physicality associated with the Gladiator universe, it makes sense that Quinn would be asked if he and Mescal ever had any “gym showdowns” while preparing for their roles. The Stranger Things actor humbly responded:

No showdowns! Certainly not. I wouldn’t stand a chance; the man’s a unit! He definitely committed a lot to the physicality of his character. You see it on screen—he’s a presence, truly.

This is no surprise, given some of the early footage has shown Paul Mescal fighting a rhinoceros (which is surely CGI), so you know he was hitting the weights day in and day out to train. I would expect nothing less than total commitment to a role given the great performances we've seen from Mescal. Funny enough though, it was actually a live stage performance that secured him the role, and he left audiences swooning. But you can check out that viral post for yourself down below:

The All of Us Strangers actor has been one of the Internet’s favorite boyfriends ever since his TV debut in the gut-wrenching Hulu original Normal People. His fame has only grown since then, and it seems like he would prefer to not acquire much more unrequited attention from Gladiator 2. (I know I’ll never forget when the the rumor that he was running away from his dates in London made the rounds on the web.)

But, unfortunately, for the Lost Daughter actor, this cast is the opposite of low-key. Ridley Scott has assembled the ultimate crew of heartthrobs for this movie, with Pedro Pascal and Denzel Washington joining Paul Mescal and Joseph Quinn -- and fans have shared shameless reactions. Barry Keoghan, who has had fans thirsting for him after Saltburn, was supposed to appear with Mescal and Quinn, but unfortunately dropped Gladiator 2 for another film. It’s probably for the best, to be honest. Seeing those three together on one screen probably would have had audiences completely overwhelmed.

In all seriousness though, Paul Mescal deserves a lot of credit for committing to his role from a physical standpoint. And make no mistake, Joseph Quinn is no slouch either. After all, he has been training hard for The Fantastic Four, in which he'll play Johnny Storm/The Human Torch. Both Quinn and Mescal are formidable actors, and I'm excited to see what they bring to Ridley Scott's latest epic.

Gladiator 2 is set to release in theaters on November 22. And, if you're looking to do a rewatch of the original film or check it out for the first time, it's streamable with a Paramount+ subscription.