Maximus Thighus! Musclebound Normal People star Paul Mescal shows he’s been hitting the gym for Gladiator sequel
He became famous playing shy, sensitive Connell in Normal People, but actor Paul Mescal has undergone a stunning physical transformation to star in the upcoming Gladiator movie sequel.
The 27-year-old Irish actor was looking ripped as he walked through Central London in his trademark O’Neills Gaelic football shorts after hitting the gym last week.
He is currently on a break from filming the follow-up to Russell Crowe’s 2000 Oscar-winning epic, as production is on hold because of the Hollywood actors’ strike.
Mescal will reportedly earn £6 million for taking the lead role in the blockbuster playing Lucius, the secret son of Crowe’s character Maximus, who died at end of the first movie.
He will star opposite Denzel Washington, whose character has yet to be revealed, but is thought to be a slave-turned-landowner who harbours a grudge against the emperor.
Paul Mascal was looking ripped as he walked through Central London in his trademark O’Neills Gaelic football shorts after hitting the gym last week
Mescal will reportedly earn £6 million for taking the lead role in the blockbuster playing Lucius, the secret son of Crowe’s character Maximus
Paul Mascal as Connell alongside Daisy Edgar-Jones in the BBC Three adaptation of Sally Rooney’s Normal People
A source in Hollywood familiar with the film, which is due out next autumn said: ‘Paul has been working out for months. He’s been hitting the gym pretty much daily to beef up and has a dietician advising him what to eat for maximum muscle gain. All that hard work is clearly paying off.’
Mescal, who has grown a beard for the role, showed off his physique on social media, thrilling fans with images of himself pumping iron.
But in an interview earlier this year, the star claimed he was not interested in discussing his muscly look, saying: ‘With films like this and superhero films there is sometimes a focus on that, which I don’t find that interesting.
‘Of course, there’s a physical robustness required for the character, but past that I’m not interested.
‘The guy’s got to fight and has got to be a beast. And whatever that looks and feels like is right for me, is what it’s going to be.’
Mescal was such an overnight sensation starring opposite Daisy Edgar-Jones in the BBC adaptation of Normal People that even the chain he wore around his neck had its own social media account.
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