Paul Mescal to star in new TV drama tomorrow by Derry Girls writer

Man of the moment Paul Mescal tells The Echo about his new psychological drama that starts on TV on Monday - by Derry Girls writer Lisa McGee
Paul Mescal to star in new TV drama tomorrow by Derry Girls writer

NEW SERIES: The cast of The Deceived, from left, Emily Reid as Ophelia, Emmett Scanlan as Michael, Paul Mescal as Sean, and Catherine Walker as Roisin

WIND back to the start of the year and few of us had heard of Covid-19 or Paul Mescal.

The latter burst onto the scene as the star of the hit TV drama of lockdown Normal People alongside Daisy Edgar Jones.

Now the Maynooth actor can’t even spend a few days in West Cork without attracting headlines in The Echo!

There’s good news for his fans as Mescal is back on our TV screens in a new drama called The Deceived which starts on the UK’s Channel 5 on Monday at 9pm.

The series, written by Derry Girls creator, Lisa McGee, and her husband Tobias Beer, also stars Peaky Blinders’ Emmett J Scanlan. The compelling story follows English student Ophelia (Emily Reid), who falls in love with her married lecturer. When their affair is interrupted by a shocking and tragic death, she finds herself questioning if she can trust her own mind.

It includes topical themes such as gaslighting and psychological abuse.

Mescal, 23, said the plot really appealed to him. “I am a massive Derry Girls fan so naturally, the first thing that jumped out at me was Lisa and Tobias’s names; that is always going to be exciting.

“The fact it was a psychological drama didn’t particularly surprise or confuse me because the standard of the writing in Derry Girls is so good. This drama feels very singular, specifically in the sense of genre. I can’t think of another show with this kind of supernatural, psychological thriller crossover that is also set inside such a well-crafted world.

Paul Mescal as Sean in The Deceived, which starts on UK Channel 5 on Monday at 9pm.
Paul Mescal as Sean in The Deceived, which starts on UK Channel 5 on Monday at 9pm.

“I like things on TV that feel like they have their own specific identity, and this definitely does.

Mescal plays Sean, a rugged builder in the Irish-set drama.

Sean is a simple man, in a good sense. He is directly invested in the community, he has a very strong and good moral compass and he has his eye on Ophelia. He is attracted to her but also there is a slight concern he has for her.

“Most of my scenes are with Emily (Reid), who is phenomenal in this.

Sean is the local handyman, the jack-of-all-trades and he is helping to fix up the house when he meets Ophelia with Emmett’s (Emmett J. Scanlan) character Michael.

Mescal says it has been a hectic time. “I had two days off after I wrapped filming on Normal People and then I started filming The Deceived. This is my second ever TV role. As for whether I was nervous...? Totally.”

As for his new-found fame, he says: “To be honest, it is hard to describe accurately as it is something that I feel very much still in the middle of.”

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