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Andrew Scott Explains Inspiration for ‘Tortured Man Club’ Group Chat With Joe Alwyn and Paul Mescal

Andrew Scott Explains Inspiration for Now Collapsed Joe Alwyn and Paul Mescal Group Chat
Cindy Ord/MG24/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue;Mike Marsland;Karwai Tang/WireImage(2)/Getty Images(3)

Andrew Scott is spilling the tea about the inspiration for his “Tortured Man Club” group chat with Joe Alwyn and Paul Mescal.

“Let me tell you what that is! So they were about to play these tortured characters, and I had played a tortured character in Fleabag. It wasn’t about our own characteristics,” Scott, 47, told Variety in a Wednesday, May 22, profile.

Alwyn, 32, and Mescal, 28, were both about to appear in adaptations of Irish author Sally Rooney’s novels. Mescal played Connell in 2020’s Normal People on Hulu. Two years later, Alwyn starred as Nick Conway in the streaming platform’s adaptation of Rooney’s Conversations With Friends. Scott, who appeared as The Priest on Fleabag between 2016 and 2019, had previously acted alongside Alwyn in 2022’s Catherine Called Birdy.

When Alwyn landed his Conversations With Friends role, Scott set him up with Mescal post–Normal People in a group chat.

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“I think there were three texts, like, ‘Hey, guys.’ You know those groups that you set up, and they just collapse,” Scott recalled to Variety.

While the group chat appeared to break down, Scott’s fellow members remain grateful for the introduction.

“He’s a great guardian of actors if you’re lucky enough that he admires you or has respect for you,” Mescal told the outlet. “He’s got an overseeing quality, in terms of understanding that good art and good actors are hard to come by.”

Alwyn previously revealed the name of “Tortured Man Club” during a 2022 interview for Variety’s “Actors on Actors” series. The video resurfaced in February when Taylor Swift, Alwyn’s now-ex, announced her new album was called The Tortured Poets Department. Fans immediately thought the title was inspired by Alwyn’s group chat given the use of the word “tortured” in both names. (There are several songs on the record that have been presumed to be about Swift, 34, and Alwyn’s 2023 breakup.)

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Swift’s TTPD was released in April and she has since moved on from the breakup drama. (The record also features tracks seemingly inspired by her 2023 fling with Matty Healy and current relationship with NFL star Travis Kelce.)

“This period of the author’s life is now over, the chapter closed and boarded up. There is nothing to avenge, no scores to settle once wounds have healed,” Swift wrote via Instagram last month. “And upon further reflection, a good number of them turned out to be self-inflicted. This writer is of the firm belief that our tears become holy in the form of ink on a page. Once we have spoken our saddest story, we can be free of it.”

While Scott did not share whether TTPD was named after his group chat with Alwyn and Mescal, he is a fan of the album.

“Taylor’s new album is sensational! I texted her yesterday to say how amazing it is,” Scott gushed to Variety before naming “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived” as his favorite song. “I think she is just a force of nature, just an extraordinary human, and this album is really, really amazing.”

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