On Sunday night, the Irish actor received the Best Actor prize at the annual theatre awards for his leading performance in the West End revival of A Streetcar Named Desire.
After thanking his co-stars and colleagues, Paul gave a shout-out to his mother – who is currently undergoing treatment for cancer – and father.
“I hope you get better soon,” he said at the end of his speech.
Backstage, Paul told reporters: “My mum and dad are at home. My mum’s unwell at the moment, so hopefully it’ll give her a little bit of a lift and dad as well who is looking after.
“It kind of feels maybe narcissistic or egotistical to assume that that will help anything, but I hope that it does.”
After shooting to fame at the height of the pandemic for his role in the TV drama Normal People – which earned him an Emmy nomination and TV Bafta win – Paul has had another huge year professionally, landing a role in the upcoming Gladiator sequel, as well as his first Oscar nomination.
“I feel like I hear people say it all the time, but it doesn’t feel real,” he said.
“This doesn’t feel at all real. But it’s kind of happening at such a rate that there is no time to stop and think, this is a phenomenal feeling.
“But we’re on stage tomorrow at 7.30pm and I can’t wait. It’s the best play, it’s the best group of people to go to work with.”