Paul Mescal’s mother gushes about Baftas night out while battling cancer: ‘What an amazing gift’

Paul Mescal’s mother, Dearbhla Mescal, captured the hearts of fans with her starry-eyed enthusiasm and pride in her children.

She accompanied Paul to the 2023 Bafta Awards over the weekend, along with her husband, who is also named Paul.

Dearbhla’s night out comes as she continues to get treatment for bone marrow cancer, which her daughter Nell Mescal revealed on the same day Paul received an Oscar nomination for Aftersun.

But she refused to allow the illness to get the best of her as she described being at the Baftas as an “amazing gift” from her son.

Speaking to The Mirror at the event on Sunday night (19 February), Dearbhla said: “These past few days feel like I was in a movie… my heart is just so very grateful.

“What an amazing, amazing gift this was to be part of this incredible, crazy ride.”

Paul had been nominated at the Baftas for best actor for his role in Aftersun. However, the award went to Austin Butler for playing Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s 2022 biographical drama, Elvis.

In January, he received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor, alongside Butler, Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), Brendan Fraser (The Whale), and Bill Nighy (Living).

Aftersun is Paul’s first lead film role since his breakout appearance in the BBC adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel Normal People, which was released in 2020.

Nell announced that Dearbhla was preparing to undergo chemotherapy on the same day the Oscar nominations were revealed, on 24 January.

She said in a tweet: “My mum got a haircut today in prep for her chemotherapy and then Paul for nominated for an Oscar life is so crazy.”

Reacting to the nomination, Paul said in a statement: “This is truly a special moment for everyone involved in Aftersun. To be recognised by the Academy is such an insane honour and I’m so utterly grateful. I want to dedicate this nomination to my two friends Charlotte [Wells, director] and Frankie [Corio, co-star] who I love dearly! This is bananas, thank you!”

Meanwhile, Dearbhla said it was “too stressful” to watch the nominations live and she found out the news on the family WhatsApp chat instead.

She told Ireland’s national broadcaster RTÉ: “We’re very blessed, Donnacha [Mescal’s brother] was in New York, sitting in his office, Nelly was in London, she went straight to his flat.

“It’s an honour to watch him in this arena, I’m emotional a lot today.”