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Gladiator 2's Paul Mescal reveals nerves over meeting co-star

paul mescal arriving at the olivier awards 2023 in london
Gladiator 2's Paul Mescal nervous meeting co-starStuart C. Wilson - Getty Images

Gladiator 2 star Paul Mescal has revealed he was nervous before meeting co-star Pedro Pascal.

The pair will appear in Ridley Scott's eagerly-anticipated sequel to the 2000 film, with Mescal playing the lead role of Lucius and Pascal appearing in a currently-undisclosed role.

paul mescal arriving at the olivier awards 2023 in london
Stuart C. Wilson - Getty Images

In an interview with Esquire conducted prior to the SAG-AFTRA strike, Mescal revealed he was starstruck by Pascal during a meeting at Los Angeles International Airport, which was shortly before The Last of Us star had been publicly announced in the cast for the film.

"I was too afraid to go up to him. He came up and just seemed so genuine; I'm really looking forward to hanging out with him," revealed Mescal.

pedro pascal at the met gala
Kevin Mazur/MG23 - Getty Images

The Aftersun star also spoke about the prospect of appearing in the historical epic.

"I can't tell you how stressed I am talking about that film in particular, because it's definitely the biggest one I've done," he said. "I feel really excited, but it's difficult to get away from the legacy of the [first] film a bit.

"I think it's really well written and it pays homage to the first one, but it's very much something that I think I can step into and make comfortably my own," he added.

Paramount Pictures executive Daria Cerce recently explained the decision to cast Mescal in the lead role, with his award-winning performance in the stage version of A Streetcar Named Desire serving as a pivotal moment.

paul mescal
Karwai Tang - Getty Images

Related: Russell Crowe denies Gladiator 2 return rumours

"There are several moments where he takes off his shirt and it was electric," she quipped.

"The ladies in the audience were very vocal, and we were like, 'I think we've found our guy.'"

In addition to Mescal and Pascal, the cast for Gladiator 2 includes Denzel Washington, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Honsou and Matt Lucas, with Derek Jacobi and Connie Nielsen reprising their roles from the first film.

Gladiator 2 is currently scheduled to be released in 2024.

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