Natalie Portman And Paul Mescal Smoking Together Is The Cultural Reset We Needed

Paul Mescal and Natalie Portman smoking outside a bar in Islington? Whatever next

Natalie Portman and Paul Mescal

by Nikki Peach |
Published on

If Paul Mescal's star appeal wasn't meteoric enough already, he's just been spotted having a casual cigarette with Natalie Portman.

The two actors were seen laughing and chatting outside a bar in London and the internet has lost its mind. Maybe it's because they dared to wear 'matching' white t-shirts, or because the Daily Mail has made some not-so-subtle insinuations that they might be dating. Of course, it could also just be that two incredibly talented, good-looking actors from opposite sides of the pond appear to be friends with each other. Either way, it's given people something to talk about.

Paul Mescal, a 28-year-old hunk from Maynooth in Ireland, who rose to fame as Connell Waldron in Normal People during lockdown and has since become one of the world's most sought-after actors, and Natalie Portman, a 42-year-old Oscar-winning bastion of Hollywood cinema, just... hanging out? It's a wild enough concept to warrant at least an hour of time-wasting and ogling at the pictures.

For those who weren't already aware, this isn't the first time Paul and Natalie have met. In December last year, they appeared on Variety's Actors on Actors series, where they discussed Natalie's role in May December and Paul's role in All of Us Strangers.

They also have several mutual connections in the industry. In 2022, Paul worked with Natalie's then-husband Benjamin Millepied when he starred in his film, Carmen. And in February, Natalie was pictured chatting to Paul's All of Us Strangers co-star Andrew Scott at the 2024 Film Independent #SpiritAwards in Los Angeles.

When Paul and Natalie sat down with Variety last year, the Irish actor said, 'I want to get the sycophantic stuff out of the way, but if my drama school self knew that I would be sat here talking to you, I would pinch myself many, many times.'

What would his drama school self say if he knew he'd be 'casually smoking' with her six months later and that the pictures would send the internet into overdrive?

Sadly, there's no real use in getting lost in the endless theories about why they were 'casually smoking' in each other's presence. Sometimes we just need photographs like these to trigger a cultural reset and to keep us on our toes.

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