“I Was His #1 Fan Long Before He Became Paul Mescal” – Normal People Star Clinton Liberty Opens Up About His School Buddy
Normal People star Clinton Liberty says Paul Mescal and Lenny Abrahamson groomed him for his biggest role yet – Graham Norton’s new film series, Holding.
The budding Irish star, 23, admitted he had been Paul’s number one fan for years, long before anyone else knew him as the pair went to university together.
And after starring alongside her in the hugely successful, based on Sally Rooney’s novel, under the direction of Oscar-nominated Dubliner Abrahamson, he says he feels ready to take on any major role.
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The Dubliner, who played Kiernan in Normal People, said: “I went to Lir Academy at Trinity College, me and Paul Mescal were in the same.
“I was in Normal People, it was my first job. It was like a tester. I was just, you know, mopping up as much as I could.
“And Paul was like my favorite actor before becoming Paul Mescal.
“You know, I used to see all the plays and stuff. I was like a big fan of him. Honestly.
“100%, I used to get spit in my class for being like the number one fan. He was my favorite actor, period. Like not even just a theater school.
He added: “I knew personally, I knew he was going to be a star.”
While he still describes himself as a rookie, Clinton is a familiar face on screen, having also starred in The Handsome Devil, and RTE shows Smother and Red Election.
But he said his biggest role has yet to be seen on Virgin Media’s Irish screens next week, where he will star as a detective in new drama, Holding.
“With Normal People being able to work with Lenny, everything was gearing up for something like this role in Holding.”
He continued: “I have a lot of gratitude, you know, but obviously a lot of work goes in too, I was just really lucky to work with Lenny coming out.
“Because obviously this role is a really important role. “Yeah. But in Normal People, I had the chance to observe and learn. And even from Paul, what the actors look like, what their editing etiquette is and how offbeat they are and how they treat people. So it was really good to have that experience before I went into, you know, kind of a major role of myself, I already had things in mind.
Clinton was speaking at Virgin Media’s latest launch, Virgin Media More, a channel exclusive to Virgin Media TV subscribers, which will launch the new series on Tuesday, April 12.
The event featured a clip from the new show, which saw Clinton in action as Linus.
And he talked about how the scene in question was his most nerve-wracking day on set, as it happened to be the day the chat show’s King Graham visited the set.
“It was the day he came to visit us, we ate ice cream that day and everyone was in a good mood.
“He was involved as much as he could. But he kind of allowed the producers and writers to really take ownership of the show, because he had already given it his all with the book.
“So yeah, he was really really lovely and very open.”
But he said he and his star-studded cast, including Conleth Hill and Charlene McKenna, were struggling to contain his nerves, adding: Oh my god, I was so nervous that day. “Oh my God. I tried to keep a straight face, but not just me. I’ve never seen, you know, such an electrifying feeling that went through every single person in the cast and crew it was like , oh my god, Graham Norton is here, even the stars were like, oh my god, he’s here. He’s here.”
The new rising star continued, “It was a real pinch moment for me every day on set, being able to work with Conleth Hill and Brenda Fricker Siobhan McSweeney, Charlene McKenna. And the list goes on and on. I mean, being very new and very green in the industry, it was an opportunity for me to explore and accumulate as much knowledge and advice as possible.
“And they were so open and so generous with your knowledge and advice. So I was really, really happy and blessed to work with all of them.
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