Paul Mescal Wants to Keep Making Independent Films: ‘Indie Cinema Is Where I Want to Live and Be’

Paul Mescal’s Oscar-nominated turn in “Aftersun” helped him land bigger roles in films like Ridley Scott’s upcoming “Gladiator” sequel, but indie film fans don’t have to worry about losing him any time soon.

Speaking to IndieWire on the Independent Spirit Awards blue carpet, Mescal reiterated his commitment to continuing to star in films like “Aftersun” and reciprocating the support that the independent film community showed him.

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“Indie cinema is where I want to live and be. So to be in the middle of that is something that I take great pride in. I love this film, I love Charlotte [Wells], I love Frankie [Corio], so it’s an easy and happy place for me to be right now.” Mescal said, before pointing out that the film’s many award nominations are a result of people still caring about smaller films. “It’s a really cool bi-product of making a film that landed with people. And it’s just important to remind ourselves that the reason that is happening is because people still want to go see independent cinema.”

The comments shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who follows Mescal’s career closely. The actor has always been vocal about his commitment to ensuring that the independent film industry continues to thrive.

“​​I love a blockbuster as much as the next person, but my only point is that we have to be careful about just leaving a bit more space for films like ‘Aftersun’ to break out, films like ‘Close’ to break out,” Mescal said in a recent interview with IndieWire. “I really don’t think I’m snobby about it. It’s actually to do with just being worried that that space [for independent film] is being encroached upon. And if we don’t keep the ecosystem balanced, we’re just gonna have one kind of film.”

In a separate interview, Mescal explained that his passion for making small films means that it’s unlikely that he would join a large franchise that would require a massive time commitment from him.

“I’d struggle if that was taken away from me,” Mescal said. “And I think sometimes you have to make a decision to let that go for five, 10, 15 years and that would be really sad… I know that if I make that decision, I’m not going to wake up in five years’ time and be surprised I didn’t get time off to go to Turkey and make an independent film for two months. Knowledge is power.”

Watch IndieWire’s interview with Paul Mescal below.

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