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Paul Mescal describes ‘fury’ after being groped by fan

Oscar nominee Paul Mescal has spoken of his “fury” after a fan groped him outside the theatre where he was performing.

The 27-year-old actor, whose film Aftersun has won him a clutch of best actor nominations this awards season, was outside Almeida Theatre in north London, where he was starring in a production of A Streetcar Named Desire, when he was asked for a photo.

He told ES Magazine: “As we posed for it, she put her hand on my ass. I thought it was an accident, so I like (moved away) but the hand followed.

Normal People
Paul Mescal as Connell in Normal People (BBC/PA)

“I remember tensing up and feeling just, like, fury. I turned to her and said, ‘What’re you doing? Take your hand off my ass’.”

He said “the last thing” he wanted to do was “call somebody out in front of the theatre – it’s uncomfortable for everyone involved – but it was really not okay. It was so gross, creepy”.

Mescal described his experience of fame, saying: “97% of it is really nice — then 3% is somebody, like, grabbing your ass.”

Mescal, from Maynooth in County Kildare, is this year nominated in the best actor category at the 95th Academy Awards for his role in indie coming-of-age film Aftersun.

His breakout role came when he played Connell in the BBC’s adaption of Sally Rooney’s novel, Normal People, starring opposite Daisy Edgar-Jones.

The part saw him described in the media as a sex symbol, with his character’s neck chain in particular eliciting much attention.

The production of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, where he stars opposite Patsy Ferran, is transferring to the West End from March after a success run at the Almeida.