Our Boyfriends Paul Mescal & Nicholas Hoult Just Interviewed Each Other & It Was Off The Chain

Our Monday’s just been made a tad easier ‘cos absolute QTs Paul Mescal and Nicholas Hoult from Stan-exclusive TV shows Normal People and The Great, respectively, have interviewed each other for Variety.

Here are a bunch of highlights from the incredibly spicy chat where they discuss everything from how they first met to Connor’s iconic chain necklace (trust).

1. “Fuck, that’s Nick Hoult.”

The interview kicks off with Paul asking the Skins actor if he remembers their first meet in Pasadena.

“You were doing press for The Great, and I remember we were in the same room,” he says. “I remember I got into the lift, and I was like, ‘Fuck, that’s Nick Hoult.’ And here we are, chatting about acting.”

2. “He does a lot of terrible things.”

Paul went on to say that Nicholas is a “really genuine, nice human being, yet Peter (his The Great character) — one might argue — is not.”

“From an outside point of view, I can obviously see that he is the antagonist of the story, and he does a lot of terrible things,” Nicholas explains. “But then I try not to, in my mind, view him as that too much. I think with Tony McNamara’s writing, the brilliant thing is he gives you this character, but he gradually peels away a few layers where you start to go, ‘OK, there are reasons for the way he is.’

“Peter is a man-child. He’s just living in this bubble. I think the one redeemable thing, apart from his love of food, is his like of stream of consciousness.”

3. “I think you’re doing the character a disservice if you’re trying to put your stuff onto it.”

Naturally, two of this year’s hottest actors discussed acting techniques, and they both agreed that they don’t believe in bringing their personal emotions into their roles.

“When you’re playing emotions within a scene, are you completely within a character? You know there’s people that, they use their own memories is what I’m trying to say, and use those to project emotions. Do you do that or not?” Nicholas asks.

“I’m not saying that I never will, but it wouldn’t be something that would interest me. I think you’re doing the character a disservice if you’re trying to put your stuff onto it,” Paul replied.

“I’m in the same boat,” Nicholas pointed out. “I try not to use my own memories, because I feel as though then it cheapens my memories.”

4. “You’re praying to God it’s going to percolate through.”

Like us, Paul has reread Normal People, Sally Rooney’s book in which the series is based on, many, many times.

“I would normally read the scenes in the book again the morning that we would be shooting something, because the trick with Normal People was that the book’s got all of these massive interior monologues. It was trying to place those inner monologues, root them in the characters, so then when you are playing the scenes, you’re praying to God it’s going to percolate through,” he revealed.

5. “I’m not the most neat of workers.”

Hoult then asked, “I haven’t figured out how I go about the process of getting into characters, so I’m always wanting to learn from people. Would you put the notes onto your script?”

Mescal replied, “I’m not the most neat of workers, so I would just reread and reread the book so that it would percolate its way in. I did write page references, but — I don’t know if it’s similar for you — when you start a job, you have all these great intentions. Suddenly when you’re six, seven, eight weeks in, and exhaustion starts to hit, your best intentions can be taken over by adrenaline and fatigue. And I think that’s useful as well.”

6. “That wasn’t working — terrible.”

Hoult, a self-deprecating king, then critiqued his own performance, whilst praising his co-star Elle Fanning.

“There’s times when you do a scene and go, ‘That wasn’t working — terrible.’ Then you end up seeing it and you go, ‘Oh, it really works — it’s a great scene.’ Or the reverse happens. Particularly in terms of working with Daisy [Edgar-Jones], would you both occasionally be like, ‘I feel like we got it’? I know that working with Elle, there would be times that we felt like we both got into a rhythm and we felt like, that’s the take.”

7. “We got into a rhythm with it.”

Mescal also had lovely words to say about his co-star, Daisy.

“The longer me and Daisy got into the shoot, there was a real shorthand. The discussions would become fewer and fewer, and we would just have a weird understanding that this is the way the scene played, without talking to each other too much. Conversations around character can sometimes dilute character, if you over-explain.”

He added, “I think what Daisy has in absolute abundance is not only talent, but she’s got an incredible instinct with character, and she is an incredibly generous actor. We got into a rhythm with it.”

8. “You feel like you lose slight ownership of [the chain].”

And finally, Hoult asked Mescal if he wears the chain IRL or if it’s something that was written purely for Connor.

“No, the chain is actually in the book,” he replied. “At the start, when the chain had this cult following, you feel like you lose slight ownership of it. Then it becomes its own thing. Recently I was like, ‘OK, what can I do to use this in some way that is beneficial?’”

Normal People and The Great are now streaming, only on Stan.