The actor starred alongside Daisy Edgar Jones in the BBC Three adaptation of Sally Rooney’s popular novel in 2020, with the show being praised for its realistic depiction of sex on screen.
In an interview with GQ Hype on Monday (7 November), Mescal recalled an exchange that happened shortly after the show was released, when he was out in County Waterford with friends.
His group ran into a hen party, when one woman told him: “I didn’t think the show was any good but I saw your willy and I have a photo!”
“I remember that was the first time that I was really angry,” Mescal said. “I was like, ‘That’s f***ing rude!’ It’s embarrassing for you, it’s embarrassing for me, it’s embarrassing for my friends and now I have to say no to you.”
However, the 26-year-old added that “luckily” interactions like these were an “anomaly” and that he’s asked for photos “relatively infrequently”.
“Most people are really nice. Some people are not,” he said. “The classic is like, a drunk f***ing dude coming up to me and being like, ‘My girlfriend really f***ing loved the show,’ and I’m like… ‘You don’t need to be ashamed that you watched a television show, dude.’”
Last month, the Irish actor explained that he found it “really tricky” talking about being objectified when Normal People was released.
Speaking about the aftermath of the show’s success, Mescal recalled being followed around London by paparazzi and being asked by journalists in interviews whether the show helped him “get laid”.
Acknowledging that the experience was much worse for women in the industry, Mescal said that he was only just beginning to feel “like the ground is tenuously below my feet”.
He can next be seen in Aftersun, a film in which Mescal plays a young father to an 11-year-old girl.