Paul Mescal opens up about that Normal People therapy scene

Abigail Malbon
Photo credit: Amy Sussman - Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

There are many memorable moments in Normal People, and let's be honest; Paul Mescal features in a lot of them. However, one of the most talked-about scenes in the BBC series (aside from the sex scenes, of course) is when Connell attends a therapy session following the death of his friend.

Paul Mescal has since opened up about shooting that particular heartbreaking moment, and he said the scene felt real to him, too. In an interview with Stylist, the 24-year-old explained: "Filming the scene where Connell breaks down was brutal. They called cut and I was still bawling." He continued: "I wanted desperately for Connell's pain to feel authentic. A massive percentage of people will experience something that Connell and Marianne are experiencing in regards to their mental health."

The actor then told the publication that prior to filming, he researched to ensure the scene was authentic in its portrayal. "I met a counsellor who worked in Trinity College," he began, adding: "I asked her, 'does this feel real?' She said that it's like a documentary in terms of how it was written. There were so many details that Sally [Rooney] got so right in terms of Connell avoiding eye contact or crying and not wiping away his tears."

The actor is a keen mental health advocate, and recently raffled his infamous chain from the series with profits going to Irish charity Pieta House, which supports people with suicidal ideation and engaging in self-harm.

So far the raffle has raised over £45,000.

Normal People is available to stream now on BBC iPlayer. Weekly double episodes air Mondays on BBC One from 9pm.

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