Paul Mescal says discussions about his Gladiator 2 body transformation are ‘not interesting’

‘Of course there’s a physical robustness required for the character, but past that, I’m not interested,’ actor said

Inga Parkel
Wednesday 22 February 2023 22:05 GMT
Gladiator trailer

Paul Mescal has said he’s uninterested in the “focus” placed on superhero transformations.

With the Oscar nominee set to star in Ridley Scott’sGladiator 2, he said he is well aware of the “physical robustness required” of him for the role.

However, anything “past that” he’s “not interested”.

In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Mescal discussed the physical preparations he’d have to undergo to play adult Lucius, the young nephew of Roman Emperor Commodus – originally played by Joaquin Phoenix in the original 2000 blockbuster.

“This guy’s got to fight and got to be a beast. And whatever that looks and feels like is right for me, is what it’s going to be,” the 27-year-old Irish actor said.

“Of course there’s a physical robustness required for the character, but past that, I’m not interested.

“With films like this and superhero films, there is sometimes a focus on that, which I don’t find that interesting,” Mescal admitted. “Sometimes I see films and I’m like, ‘That person doesn’t look real.’”

Paul Mescal (Getty Images)

Scott’s highly anticipated Gladiator spinoff will tell the story of Lucius, the son of Lucilla (portrayed by Connie Nielsen). Lucilla was the lover of Russell Crowe’s soldier Maximus, who came to his demise at the end of the first film.

Mescal didn’t have to audition for the sequel, as he said he was approached by Scott, who had hand-picked him to play the leading character.

The Aftersun star explained that he had met with the iconic director and “discussed the parameters of the story. Then, after the fact, I was given a script”.

“It’s an intimidating feat. It’s something I’m nervous about but something I feel like I can do,” Mescal said. “And I’m so proud I get to make it.”

Gladiator 2 will be released in cinemas on 22 November 2024.

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