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Movies & TV

25th Feb 2023

Paul Mescal talks about going viral with his Irish language skills

Stephen Porzio


“If you have your cúpla focail, absolutely use it.”

Between his recent Best Actor Oscar nomination for Aftersun, a Dublin International Film Festival premiere for his new movie God’s Creatures and recently wowing the public with his Irish language skills, Paul Mescal really is the man of the moment.

And appearing on The Late Late Show on Friday night, alongside his God’s Creatures co-star Emily Watson, Mescal discussed his use of Gaeilge at the BAFTAs last weekend during a red-carpet interview with TG4.

If you haven’t seen the viral clip or want a refresher, see below:

Bringing up the red carpet moment on the Late Late, host Ryan Tubridy said: “Just when we thought Paul couldn’t get any better – he’s on the front of the magazines, he’s a superstar, he’s an Oscar nominee – then he starts talking Irish.”

Downplaying his fluency in the language, it was then that Mescal modestly interjected: “Badly… That’s what my dad said straight away. He was like ‘What was that?'”

Asked if he was caught on the hop by the Irish language interview, the Aftersun actor explained:

“My mum got a text that I should chat to TG4 on the red carpet from somebody at TG4 and I was like: ‘Absolutely’. Then I did it and I realised I was out of my depth very quickly.

“I’m very proud of the Irish that I have and I think it is important to not gatekeep the language and that if you have your cúpla focail, absolutely use it.”

After both Mescal and Brendan Gleeson showed off their Gaeilge abilities last weekend, JOE’s very own Hugh Carr wrote a great piece, which you can read here, about the Irish language being cool again and getting a big BAFTAs bump.

Meanwhile, you can watch a clip of Mescal on The Late Late Show below:

Related links:

LISTEN: You Must Be Jokin’ with Aideen McQueen – Faith healers, Coolock craic and Gigging as Gaeilge