Paul Mescal Shuts Down ‘Gladiator 2’ Workout Discussions: ‘I Don’t Find That Interesting’

"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."
Paul Mescal at the 95th OSCARS® Nominees Luncheon held at The Beverly Hilton on February 13, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty Images)
Paul Mescal at the 95th OSCARS® Nominees Luncheon
Variety via Getty Images

Paul Mescal just wants to look like a normal person, even when it comes to his body transformation to star in the highly talked-about “Gladiator” sequel.

The Oscar nominee shared he doesn’t find fitness talk “that interesting,” especially when it comes to bulking up for action-heavy period piece roles or superhero movies.

“With films like this and superhero films, there is sometimes a focus on that, which I don’t find that interesting,” Mescal told The Hollywood Reporter. “Of course, there’s a physical robustness required for the character, but past that, I’m not interested. 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.”

Mescal added, “Sometimes I see films and I’m like, ‘That person doesn’t look real.'”

The “Normal People” breakout star is set to play Joaquin Phoenix’s grown-up nephew in Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator 2,” set 20 years after the events of the Oscar-winning original film starring Russell Crowe. Mescal takes over the role of Lucius, the nephew of since-deceased Commodus (Phoenix), who was killed by Crowe’s Maximus. Lucius is the son of Lucilla (Connie Nielsen) and grandson of Marcus Aurelius.

“Gladiator 2” is written by Scott’s “Napoleon” screenwriter David Scarpa. Original “Gladiator” collaborators, costume designer Janty Yates and production designer Arthur Max, are returning along with director-producer Scott. Scott Free President Michael Pruss, plus Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher via Red Wagon Entertainment, are also producing.

The “Aftersun” actor previously shrugged off interest in superhero movies.

“This will be something that I regret saying, but at the moment it’s not something…It’s not been asked of me,” Mescal told GQ UK. “So I feel kind of like ridiculous saying no when it hasn’t been asked, but it’s not something that I am pining to do.”

Mescal continued, “I don’t know if I would have the patience required. And I am deeply envious of people who do have that patience. I know that if I make that decision, I’m not going to wake up in five years’ time and be surprised I didn’t get time off to go to Turkey and make an independent film for two months. Knowledge is power.”

For all of Mescal’s upcoming roles, click here.

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