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“All of Us Strangers” Director Praises Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott's 'Amazing Chemistry' (Exclusive)

"They hang out all the time, and so something special was created when they were working together, and they're still so close," Andrew Haigh tells PEOPLE

<p>Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures</p> Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott in <em>All of Us Strangers</em> (2023)

Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures

Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott in All of Us Strangers (2023)

Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal had a natural dynamic in All of Us Strangers.

PEOPLE talked to the film's writer-director, Andrew Haigh, at the 2023 Gotham Awards Monday night in New York City. There, he recalled how he, Scott, 47, and Mescal, 27, "hung out" and "got to know each other" ahead of making the romantic fantasy.

"They were so excited to work with each other, and I think that meant so much to them," says Haigh, 50. "And they're really good friends now. They hang out all the time, and so something special was created when they were working together, and they're still so close."

The filmmaker adds, "They still like each other and they still text and see each other all the time."

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<p>Todd Williamson/January Images/Shutterstock </p> Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott at a screening of <em>All of Us Strangers</em> in Los Angeles on Nov. 20, 2023

Todd Williamson/January Images/Shutterstock

Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott at a screening of All of Us Strangers in Los Angeles on Nov. 20, 2023

Related: Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, Jamie Foxx and More Score 2023 Gotham Awards Nominations

In All of Us Strangers, Fleabag alum Scott plays Adam, a man in London who has a chance encounter with his neighbor Harry, played by Mescal. According to the film's synopsis, their meeting "punctures the rhythm of [Adam's] everyday life."

"As a relationship develops between them, Adam is preoccupied with memories of the past and finds himself drawn back to the suburban town where he grew up, and the childhood home where his parents (played by Claire Foy and Jamie Bell) appear to be living — just as they were on the day they died, 30 years before," the synopsis continues.

The film was nominated for four Gotham Awards on Monday night, including best screenplay, best international feature, outstanding lead performance for Scott and outstanding supporting performance for Foy, 39.

As for Scott and Mescal, Haigh tells PEOPLE he "can't imagine anybody else in the roles" of Adam and Harry. He adds, "I can't even picture what anybody else would be like."

<p>Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty</p> Andrew Haigh at the 2023 Gotham Awards in New York City on Nov. 27, 2023

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

Andrew Haigh at the 2023 Gotham Awards in New York City on Nov. 27, 2023

Related: Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal Play Lovers in Haunting 'All of Us Strangers' Trailer

"And they have amazing chemistry," he explains. "They're both so soulful and they're brilliant actors, and they bring the film to life. They are the things that bring the magic in the movie. So yeah, I'm so happy with them."

Asked about the main takeaway he wants viewers to have from All of Us Strangers, Haigh says he believes "the film is about a lot of things," but "in the end, it is about love and about the complexities and importance of love." For that reason, Haigh "want(s) the audience to take that in, in whatever way works for them."

"And it will speak to different people in different ways," Haigh continues. "And that's what I've been so happy about in the film, is that lots of different people are responding to it in their own personal ways, and that, to me, makes me really happy."

All of Us Strangers is in theaters Dec. 22.

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