Paul Mescal’s Gladiator 2 Body Transformation Is Focused on One Very Specific Objective

With the publication of “Napoleon” in 2023, all eyes are now on “Gladiator 2,” the next historical epic directed by Ridley Scott. The film, which is set decades after the first one, centers on Lucius—now portrayed by Paul Mescal—entering the arena. Although there aren’t many plot details yet, we do know that Denzel Washington and Pedro Pascal are among the large cast members in the follow-up. Naturally, Mescal is the center of attention because he had to gain a lot of muscle to play the lead in the movie.

Mescal talked about how his training regimen, which prioritized fight choreography over attractiveness, was reflected in his physical change in an interview with Vanity Fair. “I just wanted to be big and strong and look like somebody who can cause a bit of damage when s**t hits the fan,” the nominee for the Oscar stated.

Mescal continued on to say that he needed Lucius to have a body more suited for a warrior than an underwear model. Although the actor has a fantastic appearance, he didn’t aim to look better for the follow-up. “Muscles start to grow, and that can be deemed aesthetic in certain capacities, but there is something about feeling strong in your body that elicits just a different feeling,” he stated.

The performer added that as soon as he saw he possessed the physical prowess to represent a real gladiator, he started to conduct himself differently.

The “Aftersun” actor, who has entirely changed his physique to enter the Coliseum, appears utterly terrifying in the role of Lucius. His physical pivot was so strong that the co-star who had to face him found him to be a formidable opponent.

Pedro Pascal compliments Paul Mescal’s Gladiator physique

Paul Mescal & Pedro Pascal

Although very many specifics regarding the follow-up have been made public, we do know that Djimon Honsou’s Juba, a pivotal survivor from the original film, is not present in “Gladiator 2”. Rather than bringing back past favorites, Ridley Scott has chosen to cast new performers, Pedro Pascal, the star of “Last of Us,” as the lead in the upcoming film.

For our amusement, Pascal portrays the despised Marcus Acacius, who must battle Lucius. Acacius is reported to have trained under Russell Crowe’s Maximus, despite not appearing in the first movie, which explains why he is such a beast in the ring. Thanks to his roles in films like “The Equalizer 2” and “Game of Thrones,” Pascal has a ton of experience with action scenes, but taking on the stronger Mescal was a noticeable struggle.

“He became really powerful. Regarding his combat scenes with the Lucius star, Pascal said Vanity Fair, “I would rather be thrown from a building than have to fight him again.” “To face someone that much younger, that talented, and that fit…It’s harsh, dude,” remarked the 49-year-old. Pascal even gave Mescal a cheeky monicker, jokingly calling him “Brick Wall Paul.”

Pascal claims that witnessing his co-star becoming so fit inspired him to stay up during filming, and that having to compete against Mescal was motivating.

Although the forthcoming sequel’s plot is yet unknown, we do know what not to expect from it. Check out Looper’s analysis of Nick Cave’s shelved “Gladiator 2” script, which included a post-apocalyptic Maximus. On November 22, “Gladiator 2” opens in theaters.

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