Normal People's Paul Mescal says he's proud that the series has sparked 'important conversations'

Normal People's Paul Mescal says he's proud that the series has sparked 'important conversations'

Still from Normal People. Element Pictures/Enda Bowe - Photographer: Enda Bowe

Speaking to Cork-born duo Kevin Twomey and PJ Kirby on the latest episode of their hit podcast I'm Grand Mam, the 24-year-old actor said mental health is "such an important conversation that the series has opened up".

Mescal, who plays Connell Waldron in the series adaptation of Sally Rooney's novel of the same name said that whilst he doesn't personally struggle with mental health issues he's proud that the series is helping to tear down some of the stigma.

He lauded Rooney's powerful and emotive writing for creating such layered and believable characters which people can relate to and encouraged people to speak to a professional if they are struggling.

"The furthest thing from shame exists if you go and speak to someone," he said.

The Kildare native also addressed the controversy the show has caused amongst some viewers for featuring scenes of a sexual nature.

"It would be a different thing if the show was pornographic in terms of how it portrays sex but I’m of the opinion that that’s not the case," he said.

"The show isn’t about sex, it’s about a relationship."

Mescal admitted he was surprised that the show attracted some criticism over these scenes.

"I didn’t think that response would even happen," he said.

"People are totally entitled to their opinion; it’s just not remotely mine," he continued.

The actor, who is currently living in London, said he isn't fazed by the criticism and is proud of the way the series depicts sex. 

"It shows consent in a way that we haven’t seen on screen a huge amount," he said.

Normal People is broadcast on RTÉ One every Tuesday at 10.15pm.

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