Paul Mescal cringed as he re-watched his Normal People sex scenes while accepting the Breakthrough Actor gong at the GQ Men Of The Year Awards on Thursday.
In a pre-recorded segment, the actor, 24, discussed his role as Connell in the coming-of-age BBC adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel as he sat in a cinema room in a tux.
When the sex scenes involving his co-star Daisy Edgar-Jones were blown up on the big screen, Paul squirmed in his seat but added while it was painful for him to watch, he was ‘not ashamed of it in any shape or form’.
Funny: Paul Mescal cringed as he re-watched his Normal People sex scenes while accepting the Breakthrough Actor gong at the GQ Men Of The Year Awards on Thursday
Introducing Paul as the winner, GQ host Jack Whitehall said: ‘Our next award is for the Hugo Boss Breakthrough Actor Of The Year. The winner is Paul Mescal. Emmy nominated and now a GQ Award. What a year he has had.
‘Very much the Captain Tom of the millennial generation.’
Paul said: ‘I’m incredibly honoured to accept and to celebrate, we’re going to watch an action replay of Normal People and it’s going to be the last episode.
Sex: In a pre-recorded segment, the actor, 24, discussed his role as Connell in the coming-of-age BBC adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel as he sat in a cinema room in a tux
Awkward: The scene then jumped to Connell and Marianna getting hot under the covers, with Paul looking noticeably embarrassed
Heartthrob: Paul looked handsome as he posed for his GQ covershoot
Referring to his chain, he said: ‘So this chain was the one that I wore throughout filming, but I also have my own ones and got to donate one to a charity I love back at home in Ireland.
‘It raised around €70,000, which will go a long way so that was really exciting.’
The scene then jumped to Connell and Marianna getting hot under the covers, with Paul looking noticeably embarrassed as he was told to watch on: ‘This is the perfect opportunity to fast forward. I’m going to pause it there,’ he said, blushing.
Explaining the episode, Paul added: ‘Yeah, so we had intimacy going on and it was amazing and ultimately the fact that I think the scenes look really true and organic.
Hunk: The actor donned a black polo neck for one look
Of the intimate scenes, Paul said: ‘It’s not nice to watch for me but it’s nice to be involved and something to be proud of. It’s not something to be ashamed of in any shape or form’
Handsome: The Irish hunk looked dapper on the red carpet in a black suit
Candid: The BBC Three drama features realistic sex scenes between main characters Connell and Marianne, who viewers first meet as teenagers in County Sligo, Ireland
‘The main thing is me and Daisy felt safe we had an amazing crew and director and made something that felt like two people in a really loving relationship.
‘It’s not nice to watch for me but it’s nice to be involved and something to be proud of. It’s not something to be ashamed of in any shape or form.’
He joked: ‘That is a long 30 seconds.’
Paul also explained in the interview how he only recently decided to focus all his attention on acting.
Bond inspired: Paul also wore a white shirt undone as he posed for the photoshoot
Embarrassed: When the sex scenes involving co-star Daisy Edgar-Jones were blown up on the big screen, Paul squirmed in his seat
‘I really struggled with that decision: choosing one thing to focus on that I wouldn’t get utterly bored with,’ he explained. ‘Acting was something that I didn’t really know how to do but I could see how it would take a great deal of dedication.’
‘It was a team environment, but one with an almost hermitic lifestyle for the individual players – just going in and being totally absorbed by it. That really appealed.’
Elsewhere at the ceremony, Lashanna Lynch, who will play the first ever female 007 in the upcoming James Bond film No Time To Die, received the Hugo Boss Breakthrough Actress prize.
Paul Hutchinson received the Humanitarian Award after gained worldwide attention when he was pictured carrying a man to safety in the midst of a violent clash between a Black Lives Matters march and EDL counter-protesters.
Guidance: Paul explained to Entertainment Weekly that the two actors were assisted by intimacy coordinator Ita O’Brien, so they felt comfortable with the nudity required
While Daniel W Fletcher received the award for Peroni Breakthrough Designer, Charlie Mackesy was honoured with award for Maddox Gallery Artist.
Captain Sir Tom Moore was awarded the Inspiration of the Year, after becoming GQ’s oldest ever cover star at the age of 100.
Formula One star Lewis Hamilton was awarded with Game Changer Of The Year following his work to combat racism in his industry.
Star Wars’ John Boyega received the award for Icon of the Year, and detailed some of the people he still views as icons, including actor Daniel Kaluuya and his beloved mum Abigail.
GQ MEN OF THE YEAR AWARDS 2020: ALL THE WINNERS
Iconic: John Boyega cemented his place as an icon when he used his profile to draw attention to the Black Lives Matter movement
WINNER: Captain Sir Tom Moore
WINNER: Ozzy Osbourne
Peroni Breakthrough Designer
WINNER: Daniel W Fletcher
Newcomer: Paul Mescal found overnight fame thanks to his lead role in Normal People
Hugo Boss Breakthrough Actor
WINNER: Paul Mescal
WINNER: Tommy Hilfiger
Maddox Gallery Artist
WINNER: Charlie Mackesy
Inspiring: Captain Sir Tom Moore was honoured for his fundraising efforts for the NHS which inspired the nation
WINNER: John Boyega
Hugo Boss Breakthrough Actress
WINNER: Lashana Lynch
A lifetime in the industry: Ozzy Osbourne has spent 50 years entertaining as a heavy metal musician
WINNER: Marcus Rashford
WINNER: Lewis Hamilton
WINNER: Piers Morgan
New category: GMB host Piers Morgan was named TV Personality
WINNER: Shawn Mendes
WINNER: Patrick Hutchinson
WINNER: Michaela Coel
Solo star: Shawn Mendes received the Solo Artist award