Paul Mescal won't bulk up for Gladiator 2

Paul Mescal won't bulk up for Gladiator 2

Paul Mescal won't be bulking up for his role in 'Gladiator 2'.

The 27-year-old actor has been cast in the lead part of Lucius but is determined to look "real" to viewers when he begins filming for the blockbuster this summer.

On the topic of physical transformation, Paul told The Hollywood Reporter: "With films like this, there is sometimes a focus on that, which I don't find interesting.

"Of course there's a physical robustness required for the role but, past that, I'm not interested.

"This guy's got to fight and got to be a beast. And whatever that looks and feels like is right for me, is what it's going to be.

"Sometimes I see films and I'm like, 'That person doesn't look real.'"

Paul was handed the role of Lucius – who was depicted as the young nephew of Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) in the 2000 historical epic - without an audition by legendary director Sir Ridley Scott and is looking forward to the task of making the hotly-anticipated sequel.

The 'Aftersun' star said: "I'm so proud I get to make it. It's something I'm nervous about but something I feel I can do."

Original lead star Russell Crowe will not be returning as Maximus in the blockbuster, which is slated for release in 2024, and revealed that he has learned through meetings with Ridley that it is not a "direct sequel" to the first film.

The 58-year-old star said: "Yeah we've had dinner and talked about it and all that stuff. So I know roughly how he's shaping the story.

"But yeah, if you remember, there was a young kid who wanted to beat the Gladiator, which leads to the 'My name is' speech. So that young kid has grown up, and he's now the Emperor.

"I don't know what else happens at that point, so that's the idea. So it's not a remake. And it's not a direct sequel. It's not like the day after, you know, 30 years later or something."