Belfast Telegraph

Filming starts at Trinity College for BBC's adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People

Actor Paul Mescal films scenes from new series Normal People in Trinity College Dublin. Pictures by Owen Breslin
Actor Paul Mescal films scenes from new series Normal People in Trinity College Dublin. Pictures by Owen Breslin

By Sorcha O'Connor

It's lights, camera, action at Trinity College Dublin, where scenes for the BBC Three adaption of Irish novelist Sally Rooney's Normal People are being filmed.

There were still lines of tourists queuing to see the Book of Kells - but there were also several cast and crew to be seen yesterday around the famous college.

The award-winning book was adapted for screen by its author, and according to sources on set, director Lenny Abrahamson was there to call the shots.

It's a trip down memory lane for the Oscar nominee, as he completed a masters in theoretical physics there in 1987.

He will direct six episodes of the 12-episode series, before director Hettie McDonald takes the reins for the remaining six.

Filming mainly took part in the Robert Emmet Theatre in the Arts building.

The Herald understands that scenes with the main characters, Marianne and Connell, were being shot in lecture theatres.

Cold Feet star Daisy Edgar-Jones (21) will play Marianne, while Paul Mescal (23) will take on the role of Connell. Paul wowed audiences in The Gate's production of The Great Gatsby, in the lead role of Jay Gatsby.

The Lir Academy graduate is also a talented Gaelic footballer and played at U-21 level for Kildare. The cast also includes Sarah Greene.

The series follows the main characters from the west of Ireland, who strike up an unlikely relationship. Connell is the popular guy at school, while well-to-do Marianne is an outsider.

However, they find themselves drawn to each other despite their differences. When they start college, roles are reversed as Marianne finds her feet and Connell finds himself on the outskirts.

Director Abrahamson has admitted he was excited to work with the pair, saying: "I feel I have found two young actors who vividly capture Marianne and Connell and bring alive the profound and beautiful relationship at the centre of the story."

Filming for the series will be done in two blocks, with the cast set to head to Italy in August or September, before returning to Dublin to finish off the shoot. They have also filmed in Co Sligo.

The crew will shoot further scenes today and on Monday in the front square, library and on the cricket pitches.

Actor Paul Mescal films scenes from new series Normal People in Trinity College Dublin.
Pictures by Owen Breslin
Actor Paul Mescal films scenes from new series Normal People in Trinity College Dublin. Pictures by Owen Breslin

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