Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott brave icy weather for Dublin gala screening of All of Us Strangers

Irish double act brings something ‘pretty special’ to film already conquering audiences across the United States

Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott greeted crowds outside the gala screening of Andrew Haigh’s All of Us Strangers – a moving gay romance that makes a drama of memory – at the Light House cinema in Dublin on Friday night.

The two Irish actors, braving icy blasts, seemed to relish their duties in support of a film that has already moved many at festivals and on US release.

“I think we knew it was going to be pretty special,” Scott told The Irish Times.

“It felt pretty special making it,” Mescal, in spangled black jacket, echoed.


“But you never think it’s going to have that effect,” Scott continued. “It came out in America a few weeks ago, and the effect it has on people is really extraordinary. To see the film is to love the film. Everyone gets something out of it.”

Following a world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival in August, the searing drama went on to become among the best reviewed films of the ongoing awards season.

“An enormously satisfying and affecting experience,” the Guardian responded.

“Prepare to be wrecked,” the Hollywood Reporter warned.

Scott plays a London-based writer, raised largely in Ireland, who falls into a sexual relationship with Mescal’s character, a troubled neighbour, while struggling with a new screenplay.

Jamie Bell and Claire Foy turn up as spectres – or mere memories – of the parents the writer lost in a car crash decades earlier.

Earlier this week, All of Us Strangers scored six nominations at the Baftas, including one in best supporting actor for Mescal. There was some shock at Scott’s failure to secure a best actor nod, but he remains in with a shout for the Oscar nominations on Tuesday.

The actors, who had barely worked together before, form a moving partnership on screen. Out on the red carpet and in interviews, they have perfected an amusing double act. They don’t teach that in drama school.

“What double act?” Mescal said with a laugh.

“It makes such a difference to have a comrade,” Scott said. “Doing this stuff on your own is scary. Particularly because the film is set in London it’s great to have this commonality.”

Haigh, director of acclaimed films such as 45 Years and Weekend, explained it was largely a coincidence that he ended up with two Irish leads. Though Scott uses something like his own accent, Mescal’s vowels are from the north of England. But Haigh believes having actors from the same part of the world was useful.

“I’d love to know if they thought it was useful,” he said on the red carpet. “I think it probably was. They are both from here and they both wanted to work with each other. That desire was important for the chemistry. I love them both as actors. Paul isn’t Irish in the film. But they are both so amazing.”

Much has already been made of the explicit sex scenes between the two leads. Haigh laughs that that chatter doesn’t worry him if people go and see the movie. It is, however, the emotional power of the relationship that has won All of Us Strangers such plaudits.

The nostalgic soundtrack matters too. Hits from the 1980s such as the Pet Shop Boys’ Always on My Mind and Bronski Beat’s Smalltown Boy echoed across Smithfield Square as the actors shivered their way indoors.

“It is exciting to bring it home,” Mescal says. “I have family watching it for the first time tonight.”

All of Us Strangers is in cinemas from January 26th