Paul Mescal and Joe Alwyn are literary heartthrobs, having both headlined TV series based on Sally Rooney books. In 2020, “Normal People” put Mescal on the map as a brooding student. And as married actor Nick in 2022’s “Conversations With Friends,” Alwyn’s character became enmeshed in a messy love triangle.

Their latest projects show what else the actors are capable of. In “Aftersun,” directed by first-time feature filmmaker Charlotte Wells, Mescal is a single dad who tries to bond with his preteen daughter (Frankie Corio) on a trip to Turkey. Alwyn had a busy year on the festival circuit, playing an enigmatic Englishman in Claire Denis’ Nicaragua-set romance “Stars at Noon,” opposite Margaret Qualley, and a lovable medieval uncle in Lena Dunham’s “Catherine Called Birdy.”  

Paul Mescal: So what’s the name of the WhatsApp group that we’re in?

Joe Alwyn: It’s the Tortured Man Club, I think. It’s me, you — and Andrew Scott started the group. 

Mescal: He’s just on it every day. He’s just on it by himself. 

Alwyn: Just messaging himself good mornings. We were both in the Sally Rooney universe and crossed over with Lenny Abrahamson. We were so lucky to have that experience. 

Mescal: Yeah, I think Lenny is one of those directors that definitely formed me. He’s been hugely important in everything that I’ve done since then. Was there anything you took from playing somebody like Nick into “Stars at Noon”? 

Read the full conversation here as part of Variety’s Actors on Actors, presented by Amazon Studios.