Getting through all 12 episodes of Normal People on Stan is brutal, in the best way.
It’s gut-wrenching and beautiful and a little bit (okay, a lot) sexy. You’ll find yourself thinking about it long after the image of Marianne and Connell, sitting on the floor, knees to their chests, fades from your TV screen.
And you’ll probably also be thinking about that… chain. You know the one, worn around Connell’s neck always, even when he is wearing nothing else.
Watch the trailer for Normal People on Stan. Post continues below video.
Normal People is the first major role outside the theatre for Paul Mescal, who plays Connell, and it’s fair to stay people are standing up and noticing.
We’re in the middle of a pandemic, so usual promotion for a show like Normal People is not possible. Yet, from the comfort of his own home, Mescal has become everyone’s new TV boyfriend.
Like To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before‘s Noah Centineo before him, it’s a badge given to those men we can’t help but have a bit of a crush on.
Maybe it’s down to the characters they play; Connell is after all, a deeply kind and loving character.
The result is a lot of affection from the rest of us.
A week since the series’ release, the 24-year-old has racked up nearly 200,000 Instagram followers, Google searches about his relationship status have spiked, and well, there’s been a fair amount of thirsty tweets.
Who is Paul Mescal?
Mescal is from Maynooth, a small town just west of Dublin.
There are some parallels with his character: Like Connell, he played Gaelic football (sort of like a cross between rugby, soccer and AFL) before a jaw injury forced him to give it up.
He moved from his small hometown to study at Trinity, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Acting from its The Lir Academy in 2017.
Throughout Ireland, he is recognisable for an ad for a popular Irish sausage and bacon brand, Denny. It’s… interesting.
As Mescal was graduating from Trinity, he was offered roles in two high-profile theatre productions in Ireland: Angela’s Ashes and The Great Gatsby, which he took on and played the lead. He starred in a number of other theatre shows throughout 2018, and in May 2019 was announced as Connell in the Hulu and BBC adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel Normal People.