Paul Mescal wows fans with fluent Irish interview on Baftas red carpet

Fans were impressed even as the actor admitted he was a little rusty

Inga Parkel
Monday 20 February 2023 17:49 GMT
Paul Mescal speaks fluent Irish

Paul Mescal has been praised for raising awareness of the Irish language at the Baftas red carpet.

During the Sunday (19 February) night film awards show, the Aftersun actor delighted fans after he gave an interview in Irish.

Following the night’s events, a clip of Mescal’s interview has been making the rounds on social media, with many fans praising the 27-year-old Irish actor for speaking the language “without fear”.

In a translated version of the interview, Mescal apologises to the journalist for his rusty Irish. After which, she reassures him, “Your Irish is perfect”.

“Is it fair to say that Paul Mescal just unknowingly revived the Irish language?” one fan joked.

“I know last night was a big Irish night at the BAFTAs for Banshees,” a second acknowledged, “but let’s not forget Paul Mescal speaking in our native language.”

“Which had a greater impact on the revival of the Irish language – the Gaelic League established in 1893 by Eógan mac Néill and Dubhghlas de hÍde or this clip of Paul Mescal at the Baftas?” a third questioned.

While Irish Gaelic is not yet considered a dying language, it is still regarded as endangered.

This is a result of its decline in usage and prestige, particularly in urban hubs because of English’s imposed dominance, according to Eliance Language Alliance, a non-profit dedicated to documenting indigenous, minority and endangered languages.

“Paul Mescal making us proud at the BAFTAs speaking Irish on the red carpet,” another fan added.

One “loved” Mescal’s “willingness to speak the language and get things wrong, muddling through and knowing it’s part of speaking a language. Speaking without fear of a red pen coming at you.”

Mescal’s poignant performance as a struggling single father in Aftersun earned him a nomination for Best Actor at the Baftas. The category, however, was won by Elvis’s Austin Butler.

Find the full list of Baftas 2023 winners here as well as a roundup of the ceremony’s biggest talking points here.

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