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Paul Mescal and Ayo Edebiri Are 'Just Friends' Despite Those Dating Rumors: Exclusive Source

Mescal and Edebiri set dating rumors ablaze after they were seen getting close in a joint selfie posted on Instagram Sunday, in honor of St. Patrick's Day

<p>Michael Buckner/Variety via Getty</p> Paul Mescal and Ayo Edebiri at the Film Independent Spirit Awards on March 4, 2023, in Santa Monica, California

Michael Buckner/Variety via Getty

Paul Mescal and Ayo Edebiri at the Film Independent Spirit Awards on March 4, 2023, in Santa Monica, California

Paul Mescal and Ayo Edebiri are close — but not that close.

A source tells PEOPLE that despite the romance rumors swirling as of late, the two actors are "just friends."

Mescal and Edebiri, both 28, set dating rumors ablaze after they were seen getting close in a joint selfie posted on Instagram Sunday, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

In the cute photo, which the Bear actress shared on her Instagram Story, she and the Gladiator 2 actor laughed as they sat together on a stairwell. Edebiri had her arms wrapped around Mescal’s shoulder as he took the photo.

“Happy St Paddy’s 🍀,” she wrote for her caption.

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<p>Ayo Edebiri/Instagram</p> Paul Mescal and Ayo Edebiri

Ayo Edebiri/Instagram

Paul Mescal and Ayo Edebiri

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Edebiri likely posted the snap in joking reference to her claimed Irish roots shared with Mescal, which has become a running joke on social media. (She previously raved about her time living in Ireland to prepare for a role in The Banshees of Inisherin, only she wasn’t actually in the Oscar-nominated film, nor did she live in Ireland.)

Some fans, though, were convinced Edebiri and Mescal “soft launched” a new romance with their cozy snap. (The actress was last linked to actor/comedian Colin Burgess, back in 2022.)

Or perhaps the pair are testing their chemistry out working on a new project together? Mescal said in a November 2023 interview that he’d be interested in working on a rom-com with Edebiri.

“That’s one of those I leave the cinema and I’m incredibly jealous and brightened by everybody’s talents involved with that film,” he told Awards Watch.

<p>Carlo Paloni/BAFTA via Getty</p> Andrew Scott, Ayo Edebiri and Paul Mescal in London on Feb. 18, 2024

Carlo Paloni/BAFTA via Getty

Andrew Scott, Ayo Edebiri and Paul Mescal in London on Feb. 18, 2024

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Added the Normal People star, "But I think in the next five years I’m going to set myself a challenge to do maybe a rom-com with Ayo, or something like that would be cool.”

On Sunday, romance novelist Emily Henry appeared to support a collaboration between the actors as she reposted the pair's St. Patrick’s Day photo on her Instagram Story.

Fans quickly picked up on the repost and shared their reactions to Edebiri and Mescal possibly starring in a romcom adaptation together on social media.

“If Paul Mescal and Ayo Edebiri play a couple in an Emily Henry rom com … I might actually not survive i'm serious,” one fan wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

Mescal and Edebiri have been pictured a few times together in recent months, including in February, when the duo were seen catching up at the BAFTA Awards in London.

They were also snaapped in a group photo with Fred Hechinger, Jeremy O. Harris and Michael Seater in October 2023. Last March, the actors were pictured together at the 2023 Film Independent Spirit Awards in California.

Slave Play playwright Harris, 34, also appeared in additional St. Paddy's Day snaps with Mescal and director Oliver Hermanus, posing on the same stairwell. Hermanus, 40, is directing Mescal in the film The History of Sound, which is currently in production.

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