Paul Mescal Hates Celebrity Lifestyle, Finds 'Gladiator 2' Fame Depressing

The 'Normal People' actor enjoys his low-key life and hopes to avoid global stardom amid the huge buzz over Ridley Scott's much-awaited 'Gladiator' sequel.

AceShowbiz - Paul Mescal will be upset if "Gladiator 2" propels him to megastardom. The 27-year-old actor plays a lead role in Sir Ridley Scott's upcoming blockbuster sequel and while he's hopeful it won't change his life too much, he is concerned about how it will impact his ability to go about his daily life unbothered.

"I don't know what the difference will be," he told Sunday Times Culture magazine when asked if he is prepared to become one of the most famous men on the planet with the film, as happened to Russell Crowe when the original movie was released.

"Maybe that's naive? Is it just that more people will stop you in the street? I'd get profoundly depressed if that's so and hope it isn't true. I'll have an answer next year, but if [the film] impacts my life in that way, I'll be in a bad spot."

Paul joked he'd need to follow the movie with something "obtuse" to get balance back in his life. He added, "I'd have to move on and do an obtuse play nobody wants to see."

The "All of Us Strangers" actor isn't interested in leading a celebrity lifestyle, closed off in VIP areas because he think it would make him "boring." He explained, "Then you'd see yourself as somehow different and I don't want to do that. I'd just get too bored."

"I don't want to close myself off to going out and meeting someone in a bar, or getting drunk at a party. That would turn me into a boring human. It would be dangerous to start wrapping yourself in cotton wool and not be out in the world, through fear."

The "Normal People" star expressed his frustration that some studios have been casting based on an actor's social media following. He fumed, "What are we doing this for? It scares me greatly. Acting should never be reduced to numbers of Instagram followers. Over the last few years people have been talking about films and TV shows as content. That's a filthy word. It's not 'content', it's work."

"I'm not being snobby, but there are two concurrent industries. One that works with a lack of care and artistic integrity. Go nuts, make stuff with Instagram followers as a factor, whatever … But the other is what's always been there, the craft of film-making, directing, lighting and production design. That keeps artists alive. And audiences want to be challenged."

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