Normal People star Paul Mescal lands debut film role in Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter

The Irish actor features in a star studded cast that also includes Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley.

Paul Mescal

Paul Mescal has undoubtedly been one of 2020’s biggest breakout successes – and now the Normal People star has landed his first major film role.


The Irish actor will star in The Lost Daughter, which sees Maggie Gyllenhaal make her directorial debut from a script she adapted from Elena Ferrante’s 2006 novel of the same name.

Mescal is joined in the cast by a host of well-known faces, including Olivia Colman, Jessie Buckley, Dakota Johnson and Peter Sarsgaard.

He confirmed his involvement in the project with a Twitter post on Friday, writing, “I’m a very excited boy!”

Colman plays the lead role in the movie, starring as a college professor who develops a fascination with a young woman and a daughter while on a beach holiday, leading her to confront her past.

Speaking about the film to Variety, Gyllnehaal said, “When I finished reading Elena Ferrante’s The Lost Daughter, I felt that something secret and true had been said out loud. And I was both disturbed and comforted by that.

“I immediately thought how much more intense the experience would be in a movie theatre, with other people around. And I set to work on this adaptation.

“I find that the script has attracted other people interested in exploring these secret truths about motherhood, sexuality, femininity, desire. And I’m thrilled to continue my collaboration with such brave and exciting actors and filmmakers.”

Meanwhile Mescal might not have to wait too much longer for a second film role, with Derry Girls creator Lisa McGee revealing that she’d “love” to see him star in a movie version of the popular sitcom.

Asked by the Irish Sunday Mirror if a film was a possibility, she responded, “I’m thinking about it but I have to wait until I finish series three as we had to put it back because of Covid-19.

“After that I’d like to think about it but I haven’t written a script or anything. It’s very much a half idea at the minute.”

And when quizzed about a possible role for Mescal she replied, “I would love that. If he wants to, he can. Maybe if we do the movie, he could play a heartthrob.”


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