Oscar nomination for Portstewart dialect coach Maeve's client Paul Mescal

Fans of Irish actor Paul Mescal are celebrating his Oscar nomination, but one Portstewart woman has more cause than most to cheer on the actor’s success.

For north coast voice coach Maeve Diamond was ‘Normal People’ star Paul’s dialect coach during his work on the film ‘Aftersun’ in which he plays Calum, a father on holiday with his 11-year-old daughter Sophie.

Twenty years after their last holiday at a fading vacation resort, Sophie reflects on the rare time spent with her loving and idealistic father Calum. At 11-years-old, as the world of adolescence creeps into Sophie's view, Scottish Calum struggles under the weight of life outside of fatherhood.

And, it was Mescal’s convincing Scottish accent which attracted praise from film reviewers as adding to the power of the Maynooth man’s performance in ‘Aftersun’.

Lead actors Frankie Corio and Paul Mescal with Charlotte Wells, director of Aftersun which opened this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival. Picture: Getty/Euan Cherry

In an interview with the Irish Times in November 2022, Mescal paid tribute to Maeve for coaching him to such a level that one film reviewer was able to pinpoint the very area of Edinburgh whose dialect the actor was replicating.

In the interview, he said: ““I wasn’t able to do that accent at drama school. It was one of those that I decided wasn’t in my wheelhouse. Then something happens when you read something. I said: I want to be in this so much I will figure this out as quickly as possible. It maybe started a bit broader.

“I worked with this great dialogue coach called Maeve Diamond. It was important to me to get it right. That probably came from seeing actors come over and butcher Irish accents.”

A voice, accent and dialect coach for actors in film, TV and theatre, Maeve Diamond has helped shaped the sound of productions which range from the BBC, ITV and Apple TV to London’s West End and full blown feature films.

Portstewart dialect and voice coach Maeve Diamond

Maeve’s projects include Venice Film Festival selection Miss Marx and The Phantom of the Opera UK & Ireland tour.

Speaking previously to Northern Ireland World about her career, Maeve said: "Every so often I get those ‘pinch me’ moments when I let myself really catch where I am, who I’m with and what I’m doing and think, “Wow, sixteen-year-old Maeve would die to be here doing this.

"I’ve worked with so many inspiring creatives and actors, including some of my idols, which has felt pretty special and the thrill of hearing of Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for a project I was part of is pretty magic too.

“But it always comes back to the click moments for me. It doesn’t matter if it’s a West End or Am Dram production, feature film or fringe play, or even, as it often is, just me and an actor working as a pair to get the right accent for something, I love being part of a team that’s working toward the same creative vision.

" And that moment when it clicks? When it all comes together and actually works? That’s gold. It doesn’t get much more special than that.”

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