‘Gladiator 2’ Star Paul Mescal Is Working Out Hard for the Role, but Can’t Wait for His Muscles to Show

We might not be able to notice it yet, but Paul Mescal says he’s been training every day to get in shape for his work in the upcoming “Gladiator” sequel.

“Every time someone asks me if I’ve started working out, I’m like, ‘What do you mean? You can’t tell?’” the actor told me with a laugh at the Independent Spirit Awards. “I’m working hard. Hopefully, when you see me in three or four weeks you’ll be able to see it.”

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He doesn’t mind the daily routine. “I like exercise,” he said. “It’s not something I dread, thank God.”

Mescal first talked to me about the training at the Oscar Nominees Luncheon last month. “I imagine it will be like the classic thing of eating lots of chicken and broccoli,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it because anything that is kind of structured and difficult, it’s kinda fun.”

But he does admit, he has a least favorite part of the regimen. “I don’t like doing shoulders so much,” Mescal said.

Ridley Scott is returning as director for the second installment of “Gladiator.” The first film, released in 2000, was nominated for 12 Oscars, taking home the top prize of best picture as well as lead actor for Russell Crowe.

Mescal said filming is set to start in beginning of June.

Mescal goes into this year’s Oscars as a lead actor nominee for his work in “Aftersun.” At the same time, he’s become a hot ticket in the West End in “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Mescal said he hasn’t heard of any plans of adapting the production for the big screen. “I have no idea,” he said. “It’s hard to tell. Also, how do you follow the original film?”

Mescal also commented on how his life has changed since being nominated for an Oscar. He simply said with a big smile, “It’s mad.”

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