It’s easy, on a Zoom call with Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal, to feel like you’re the pesky third crashing a pair on date night.
Two’s company but three’s a crowd and interviewing Scott and Mescal, I find myself—in the best way possible—having difficulty getting a word in edgewise. The actors, who star in the supernatural drama All of Us Strangers, British filmmaker Andrew Haigh’s buzzy new film, finish each other’s sentences and are eager to banter and go off on sprawling tangents. They finish most exchanges with giggles.
The actors—proper Internet Boyfriends, the two of them—have been leaning into this chemistry the past few months, while promoting All of Us Strangers.
The film, an adaptation of Taichi Yamada’s spooky 1987 novel Strangers, tells the story of Adam (Scott), a screenwriter trying to work on a script about the parents he lost in his childhood, as he falls into an affair with an attractive, mysterious neighbor (Mescal).
All of Us Strangers can be a confounding film on first viewing. Early buzz around Strangers has centered around the crackling chemistry between Scott and Mescal in the film’s early scenes, when Scott’s and Mescal’s characters find each other and begin a tender romance. But Strangers is much more slippery than it initially appears. And as the film reconfigures itself to become other things—a ghost story, a horror film, a mumblecore romance, a time-traveling adventure, an ode to the Pet Shop Boys—it keeps you off balance, only to reveal itself to ultimately be a monument to the power of love.
“You didn’t even [get to] ask your question! We just ran away,” Mescal says, when he realizes they started making wisecracks about vampires and “scary drunk men” before I could finish my thought. “What were you going to say?”
I was asking them about shooting the unusual meet-cute in All of Us Strangers, a scene that establishes their onscreen chemistry while also setting up the film’s ending. This elicits discourse on what it means to meet-cute.
“Would you describe that as a meet-cute?” Mescal asks.
“We meet and it’s cute,” Scott chimes in.
“Never mind the scary drunk man being like, ‘Let me in your house!’” Mescal cracks.
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