Foe director Garth Davis reveals the secret behind what makes Paul Mescal a 'super special' actor

Virgin Radio

12 Oct 2023, 11:15

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The director behind Paul Mescal’s latest movie, Foe, reckons he knows why audiences are so enamoured with the Irish actor.

Based on the futuristic 2018 novel of the same name by Iain Reid, Foe stars Mescal and Saoirse Ronan as married couple Junior and Henrietta, whose lives are turned upside down when a stranger (Aaron Pierre) turns up at the farm unexpectedly to assign Junior a mission on a large space station. While Junior is sent away, Henrietta is left in the company of a robot.   

Foe had its moment to shine on the red carpet at the London Film Festival on Tuesday (10th October) and were there to chat all about the suspenseful story, as well as why Paul and Saoirse were the best choices to lead the tiny cast. 

Director Garth Davis revealed how a chance meeting in Sydney led to the casting of the Normal People star, who ended up being “crazy” about the script. 

Davis isn’t the first director to be bowled over by the young actor’s talent, and when discussing Mescal’s presence on screen, the filmmaker managed to boil down why he’s such a captivating act. 

“[Paul] has that alpha quality, but also quite a feminine side,” Davis explained. “I think that's what makes him super special. With the Irish heritage, it just made it feel very believable. The characters got married straight out of high school, and from this one area. So all of that just felt so, so right. I just had a feeling they're going to be electric on screen.”

When it came to Little Women actress Saoirse, she was actually cast first as her character was “the spiritual title of the film”. 

He continued: “I was looking for an actress that exuded this kind of inner light, I guess, and this gorgeous personality and Saoirse's got that. No matter what character she plays, her spirit shines through. So that was very important to me when we found her, I mean, thank the Lord that she did it.”

Davis was joined in his co-writing team with Foe author Reid, who also praised Mescal for braving a world of cinema he’s not yet properly traversed. 

Reid remarked: “I think in Foe, [Paul] really does something different. He does something that he hasn't really done before. I know he really enjoyed the process of making it as well. So I'm just happy that the process for him was nice and pleasant. I know he's proud of it too so it feels great.”

Foe lands in cinemas on 20th October.