Paul Mescal said it has been "a very bizarre 72 hours" for him since Normal People hit screens.
The Kildare man, who plays Connell in TV series, is living on his own in London during the Covid-19 crisis.
"You put your phone down for five minutes and it's two hours worth of work trying to reply to people," he told the Late Late Show on Friday night.
"It's been amazing, there's lots of messages of love and support. It's just been a bit mad.
"People from home in Maynooth have reached out and said that they love it and that it's portraying young people in a society that they recognise. If I could have asked for that at the start of shooting, I'd definitely have taken it."
The series is being broadcast by RTÉ in Ireland, BBC Three in the UK and Hulu in the US. Following its RTÉ premiere on Tuesday, RTÉ Radio One's Liveline received a number of calls criticising the show's sex scenes involving Connell and Marianne, played by Daisy Edgar-Jones. One caller said it was like "something you'd see in a porno movie".
"I listened in yesterday and I was a bit surprised," said Mescal.
The last thing I want to do is sit and judge people for that; they're entitled to their opinion.
We worked very hard to make sure it was a real accurate, faithful and truthful representation of sex among young people today. It's something that I'm incredibly proud of and something that I'm proud to see on Irish screens.
It's one aspect of the story and what it's really about is these two people coming together and drifting apart. With this show, I hope that we put a fresh spin on that. I personally believe that we have.
Having read the book, it was quite clear to me that there were going to be sex scenes in it. There's no one I could have imagined to be in charge of that other than Lenny Abrahamson; he's an incredible director but also an absolute gentleman.
I knew very quickly with Daisy that we were very respectful of each other. The important part of the process is that Element [Pictures] hired an intimacy co-ordinator who oversaw that content and was present in the discussions that we have about how we wanted to portray it and how to make make it feel real and intimate and for it to feel like an accurate representation of young people in the country today.
The 24-year-old, who played minor and U21 football for Kildare, added that he has watched the series with his family.
"I kind of ripped the plaster off with my family," he said.
"Once I got the episodes, I was like, 'Right, lads, we're sitting down and we're getting through this, we're getting past the embarrassing phase of it'. My dad has chosen not to binge at all and he is going to watch it again two episodes by two episodes."