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'Honoured' Mescal on elite list with Emmy nod for Normal People

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Kildare actor Paul Mescal played Connell alongside co-star Daisy Edgar-Jones in Normal People

Kildare actor Paul Mescal played Connell alongside co-star Daisy Edgar-Jones in Normal People

Kildare actor Paul Mescal played Connell alongside co-star Daisy Edgar-Jones in Normal People

Normal People star Paul Mescal has been nominated for an Emmy Award after his critically-acclaimed performance in the smash-hit drama.

The Kildare actor is in good company in the category for Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie.

He is up against Jeremy Irons for Watchmen, Hugh Jackman for Bad Education, Mark Ruffalo for I Know This Much Is True and Jeremy Pope for Hollywood.

Praise

The 24-year-old received rave reviews for his performance as shy but popular Connell in coming-of-age drama Normal People.

The series, which was shot in Ireland, earned universal praise and made household names of Mescal and co-star Daisy Edgar-Jones, who played troubled Marianne.

Mescal said he is "utterly honoured" to be nominated alongside "such immense actors I have admired from afar".

"Normal People was created by a huge cast and crew who deserve so much recognition for their incredible work," he said.

"Most importantly I want to thank my amazing friend and brilliant co-star Daisy Edgar-Jones as the show would not have got the extraordinary response without her electric performance."

Normal People received four Emmy nominations overall, with Lenny Abrahamson getting the nod for Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, while author Sally Rooney, along with Alice Birch, was nominated for Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series.

Louise Kiely got the nod for Outstanding Casting for a Limited Series.

Abrahamson said: "I'm really delighted. It feels like a lovely way to end this great story that began quite a few years ago now. I'm delighted for Louise Kiely, for Paul Mescal - an amazing lead - and it's lovely to be nominated myself.

"Also, to see Alice and Sally nominated for writing is also just wonderful."

Culture Minister Catherine Martin congratulated the cast and crew of the acclaimed series. "TV drama is hugely important to the Irish audiovisual sector and a key focus of the Audiovisual Action Plan," she said.

"Screen Ireland committed significant funding and resources to TV drama last year and Normal People was the first large-scale indigenous project that Screen Ireland supported with this fund."

Ms Martin also congratulated Irish actors Andrew Scott, who was nominated for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for Black Mirror, and Fiona Shaw, who was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for Killing Eve.

Commenting on the nominations, Screen Ireland chair Dr Annie Doona added: "Congratulations to Paul Mescal, Lenny Abrahamson, Sally Rooney, Alice Birch and Louise Kiely on their well-deserved Emmy nominations for their work on Normal People.

Talent

"Normal People has been a global success story, captivating audiences around the world.

"The critical success of the show reminds us of the intrinsic value of Irish storytelling on screen. We are delighted to see Irish creative talent recognised and celebrated at the highest level on the international stage."

The build-up to this year's nominations announcement was severely disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

While the major platforms, including HBO and Netflix, would usually hold glitzy events to promote their shows to the TV Academy's voting body, made up of roughly 23,000 industry figures, this time around they were forced to go virtual.