You’ve Been Saying Paul Mescal’s Name Wrong This Whole Time

“People get confused.”

'Aftersun' actor Paul Mescal
Dave Benett/Getty Images

With acclaimed performances in BBC’s Normal People and the coming-of-age drama Aftersun (the latter of which earned him a Best Actor Oscar nomination) Paul Mescal is very much the man of the moment. Although, as it turns out, many fans have been mispronouncing the Irishman’s name this whole time — and all because of a popular alcoholic beverage.

“People get confused with how to pronounce my name because of the drink mezcal,” the BAFTA-winning actor revealed to The Hollywood Reporter. “Everybody does it.” The Strangers star goes on to explain that the correct pronunciation is to use a soft “s” and “a” (Mess-kle), before joking that if he were to launch his own tequila line he would call it “Mescal’s Mezcal.”

The revelation came as a surprise to many Mescal fans, who had indeed been using the incorrect pronunciation. “Found out I’ve been saying Paul Mescal’s last name wrong this whole time,” one fan tweeted, while another joked: “His name is Paul. How can you pronounce it wrong?” Meanwhile, back in 2020, the Academy Award nominee was forced to clear up his nationality after some media reports referred to the actor as “British” rather than “Irish.” Taking to Twitter at the time, Mescal simply wrote: “I’m Irish.”

As mentioned, Mescal has received widespread acclaim for his performance as Calum in the 2022 drama Aftersun — a role that earned him a BAFTA and Oscar nomination. Speaking to the BBC in Feb. 2023, the actor shared how his Academy Award nomination feels “absurd.” He explained: “It’s all a bit overwhelming. When the nominations came out and the BAFTAs the week before, there was something kind of… something felt slightly absurd about it all.”