Mescal says he would become "profoundly depressed" if the Gladiator sequel makes him extremely famous.

Actor Paul Mescal stars in the upcoming big-budget blockbuster Gladiator 2, and he’s hopeful the role doesn’t make him too famous. Speaking to The Times UK, Mescal said if his fame explodes after starring in the film, he won’t be feeling too good about it.

“Is it just that more people will stop you in the street? I’d get profoundly depressed if that’s so and hope it isn’t true,” he said (via Variety). “I’ll have an answer next year, but if [the film] impacts my life in that way, I’ll be in a bad spot. I’d have to move on and do an obtuse play nobody wants to see.”

2000’s Gladiator helped propel Russell Crowe to a massive new level of fame, and many are wondering if Mescal’s star will similarly rise if Gladiator 2 is a big success as well.

Also in the interview, Mescal said he is not driven as a professional actor by a desire to gain more followers on social media, saying, “Acting should never be reduced to numbers of Instagram followers.”

He also spoke out against the trend of movies and TV shows being called “content.”

“That’s a filthy word. It’s not ‘content,’ it’s f**king work. I’m not being snobby, but there are two concurrent industries. One that works with a lack of care and artistic integrity. Go nuts, make stuff with Instagram followers as a factor, whatever … But the other is what’s always been there, the craft of filmmaking, directing, lighting, and production design. That keeps artists alive. And audiences want to be challenged.”

Plot details for Gladiator 2 remain under wraps. What we do know, however, is that the screenplay was written by David Scarpa (All the Money in the World, Man in the High Castle). The movie hits theaters in November 2024, and it also stars Denzel Washington and Pedro Pascal.

2000’s Gladiator was a huge critical and commercial success, earning $500 million at the box office and picking up 12 Oscar nominations. It won five Oscars, including best picture.

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