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Wonderland / Summer 2020, cover: Paul Mescal
Sally Rooney’s novel Normal People skewered all of our hearts back in 2018, and we still weren’t ready for the BBC’s adaptation to do so all over again. Following the complex relationship between characters Connell and Marianne as they oscillate between friends, lovers and strangers, the show explores intimacy, identity, sex and mental health with a delicacy that’s so often missing from depictions of young people on screen.
As his first TV role, Irish actor Paul Mescal took on the precinceptions of thousands of Normal People readers when preparing to play Connell, but his portrayal fulfilled our expectations and more. Covering our Summer 2020 issue, the actor reflects on the pressure and privilege of taking on a well-loved character, exploring mental health and navigating the sex scenes the show has been praised for.