Paul Mescal set to star in Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter

The Normal People actor has been cast in the upcoming psychological thriller, Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut.


Charles Bramesco


Actor on the rise Paul Mescal won over hordes of new fans – many of them corporeal representations of the heart-eyes cat emoji – with his dreamboat turn in the TV miniseries Normal People earlier this year. With this DiCapriovian level of instant adoration, it was only a matter of time until the stage veteran turned screen idol moved up to the big time, and now Tinseltown’s come a-calling.

The Hollywood Reporter has today confirmed the news that Mescal will make his feature film debut in the upcoming psychological thriller The Lost Daughter, the directorial debut of Maggie Gyllenhaal. He’s the latest addition to an already stacked cast that includes Jessie Buckley (making waves right now as the star of Charlie Kaufman‘s I’m Thinking of Ending Things), Peter Sarsgaard, Olivia Colman, and Dakota Johnson.

Colman will lead the film, playing what’s been referred to as an “elegant college professor on a seaside summer vacation,” where she makes the acquaintance of a woman named Nina (unclear at present as to whether this will be Buckley or Johnson) and her young daughter. Watching them play on the beach sends her down a rabbit hole of memory about her early days of motherhood, and by the time she comes out the other side, she will have developed a more tenuous relationship to her sanity.

Though Gyllenhaal’s assumed the role of producer more and more as of late (see: her recent vehicle The Kindergarten Teacher), she’s an untested directorial talent, and actors making the jump to the other side of the camera always elicit a healthy dose of skepticism. Same goes for Mescal, who hasn’t yet built up a filmography showcasing a range, though surely Gyllenhaal cast him for what she knows he can do.

The exclusive doesn’t make any mention of a timeline for production, which makes sense, with the industry still largely figuring out protocols for safe shooting during these days of pandemic precaution. But make no mistake, this will be a shoo-in for Sundance or Toronto a few years from now – just wait.

Published 28 Aug 2020

Tags: Dakota Johnson Jessie Buckley Maggie Gyllenhaal Olivia Colman Paul Mescal Peter Sarsgaard

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