are paul mescal and andrew scott gen z?

We spoke to the stars about imaginary friends, childhood homes and being Irish

We spoke to the stars about imaginary friends, childhood homes and being Irish

By Team Woo26 Jan 2024
5 mins read time
5 mins read time

A box of tissues. A tub of ice cream. Someone to hug. Your parents (or anyone you love) on speed dial. Maybe a squish toy. That’s the prescription of must-haves before you sit down to watch Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal’s romantic fantasy All Of Us Strangers. Directed by Andrew Haigh, the new film is loosely based on Taichi Yamada’s 1987 novel Strangers and is bound to leave you a quaking ball of mush.

So of course, we had to ask Scott and Mescal for advice on how to recover (more of that fun stuff below) from the film. But don’t get us wrong, you still have to watch it, it’s lyrical and beautiful and…makes you forget words. The movie unravels a tender love story between neighbours Adam (Scott) and Harry (Mescal) who have recently moved into an almost empty apartment building in London. As the near-strangers find connection in an overtly lonely world, Adam finds himself drawn back to his childhood home where his parents seem to be living just as they did 30 years ago, before they died.

Yep, it sounds a bit eerie, but stay with us. Slowly the film charts a relationship between a son and his parents, giving the family a second chance to say everything that's left unsaid. To eat that favourite mum-cooked meal once again. To have your parents do your laundry. To be tucked into your childhood bed. To show them who you are as an adult and to truly see who they were as adults.

All Of Us Strangers is also incredibly tactile; there’s lots of hot sex between Adam and Harry, but there’s a gentleness — earnest eye contact, sleeping with clothes on, lots of cuddles and warm baths. That’s what gets you in the feels the most, the physical intimacy that translates into heartwarming, stomach-tingling emotional intimacy. It’s only when the credits roll and the lights come on, that you’re reminded that it’s all fictional and they’re (really good) actors.

To be fair, the chemistry and trust between Scott and Mescal felt just as real off-screen. They seem less like colleagues (ick) and more like friends who also get to work together. In fact, that’s probably what we should all do after watching the film to recover: come back and read this interview with them again. It’s wholesome, it’s hilarious and what better way to recover than a conversation with the actors themselves?

Hey Andrew and Paul, we’re woo, a digital platform for Gen Z.

Paul: What’s Gen Z, like what’s the age cut-off?

Oh it’s 1997 to 2012.

Paul: So what am I if I’m ’96?

You’re on the cusp, you’re a zillennial.

Andrew: Zillennial?!

Paul: (smirks) Zillennial, like a cusp of Gen Z and millennial. I’m not Gen Z.

Andrew: Aah, how about we’re all just human beings.

Paul: Exactly, let’s not put labels on it.

Okay, let’s get into it. If you could revisit one place from your childhood where would it be and why?

Paul: The green in front of my house.

Andrew: Oh really?

Paul: Yeah probably, even though I could go there.

Andrew: Yeah but you want to go back to your childhood there. Did you play, like, rounders?

Paul: Rounders? Yeah, anything. And Lord of the Rings, just random games.

Andrew: That’s a really good thing. I remember there was a big field, we lived in a cul de sac thing not dissimilar from the house in our film. You just go out and play all day with people.

Paul: Yeah, for hours!

Andrew: And you’d go home and you’d be starving. So yeah, that place in Dublin.

Staying in your childhood, did you have an imaginary friend? And if so, what were they called and what did you do together?

Paul: I didn’t.

Andrew: I didn’t have an imaginary friend, so popular I didn’t have time to. (chuckles)

Too many real friends?

Andrew: Yeah queuing up, in that field full of friends. (both laugh)

If there was a film you could shoot in your childhood home, what would it be?

Paul: I wouldn’t be able to film in my home, that’s why I’m so in awe of Andrew Haigh, I don’t think I could.

Andrew: It would be so, so emotive, wouldn’t it? I probably imagined so many things in that house anyway, you know, remember when you said you were playing Lord of the Rings? Your imagination is so huge when you’re a kid. It sort of leaves you the more you become an adult. I think it would be weird to film something in my house.

Obviously the film is super emotional, we were wrecked, like absolutely wrecked. What do you recommend people should do after seeing the film to recover?

Andrew: What did you guys do?

Oh went home and cried, did the washing up and cried.

Andrew: Like in a good way?

It was quite cathartic.

Paul: I’d go for a drink with your friends, have dinner.

Andrew: Yeah, just talk about it. The film stays with you for a few days and makes people think about what's really important to you. It’s really personal, some people like to be on their own. I know a lot of people like to stay in the cinema for a little while after it. So do whatever you want. Go into your feelings, that’s something people in Gen Z are really good at: getting in the feels.

There is a lot of love for Irish talent right now. Alongside Ayo Edebiri, who else would you nominate as Irish by-proxy?

Paul: Oh as Irish by-proxy, hmmm.

Andrew: Oh wow! Someone who’s got an Irish vibe.

Paul: Daisy [Edgar Jones], because she did such a great Irish accent. We’ll take her.

Andrew: Oh absolutely. Daisy, welcome!

All Of Us Strangers is now screening in cinemas worldwide.