How Pedro Pascal Quietly Became The World’s Biggest Star

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There are few childless men who are comfortable calling themselves “dad,” and of those who are okay with it, most should be avoided. And then there’s Pedro Pascal, the actor who has accepted that he is “the daddy of the internet” so comfortably that he stared into a reporter’s camera lens at the premiere of The Last of Us earlier this month and said “I’m your cool and horny dad.” into the microphone, loud and clear.

If you weren’t familiar with Pascal beforehand, this particular kind of confidence might seem self-aggrandizing, as if he had graduated from Matty Healy and John Mayer’s school of forced charisma. Pascal’s charisma is the real deal, though, and luckily for us charm-hungry citizens, he’s got it in droves.

The 47-year-old Chilean-born actor has been a cult favorite among select groups of die-hard fans for years. They may have fallen for him as the smooth-spoken, skintight-pants-wearing DEA agent Javier Peña in Narcos, one of Netflix’s first “Originals” in 2015. Or as the smooth-spoken Oberyn Martell and wears a billowing robe, who had a depressingly short run on HBO’s Game of Thrones, but gave enough of a performance to stick in people’s minds. Others have been calling Pascal dad since the day he donned his beskar helmet as The Mandalorian, in what has become one of the most successful Star Wars prequels since, well, prequels.

For many, however, Pascal’s computation is happening in the here and now. For the past three weeks, he has graced our screens in his new role as Joel Miller. This is another reluctant father figure and main character of the apocalyptic thriller series, The Last Of Us, an adaptation of the popular video game of the same name.

Pedro Pascal in the role of reluctant dad number two: Joel Miller in HBO's The Last of Us (HBO/Sky)

Pedro Pascal in the role of reluctant dad number two: Joel Miller in HBO’s The Last of Us (HBO/Sky)

As soon as the series was released, Pascal became all there was to talk about. He has received rave reviews for his performance as Miller, drawing even more viewers who enjoy his good looks and behind-the-scenes interviews. You could argue that he’s always been this beloved and that people enjoy having him in a role where his face isn’t covered for 95 percent of the running time, but this feels different.

Just take a look at his Twitter or Instagram and it won’t take long for some form of Pascal to appear. Earlier this week, a photo of him sitting down with Murray Bartlett, the White Lotus alum and guest star of The Last Of Us episode three, had netizens going wild. He’s also gotten hundreds of thousands of likes, and exactly the kind of thirsty comments you’d expect in the reply section below.

Two of his previous interviews have resurfaced and become viral sensations for the first time, including a clip in which he assesses who is the “greatest dad” of him and fellow actor Oscar Isaac (the two are close friends). He was also recently announced as the next host of SNL, in an episode that will air on February 4. Basically, we are in a state of total Pedromania.

Celebrating New Year's Eve with his best friend Oscar Isaac in 2021 (Pedro Pascal/Instagram)

Celebrating New Year’s Eve with his best friend Oscar Isaac in 2021 (Pedro Pascal/Instagram)

It wasn’t always like this. Pascal may have been appearing on popular TV shows since the beginning of his career, but he rarely got a chance to stick around. He started out clean-shaven and baby-faced in an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer back in 1999, when he was still performing under the name Pedro Balmaceda. Later that year, his mother Verónica Pascal committed suicide, for which he adopted his name as a tribute, but also because Americans often had difficulty pronouncing Balmaceda. After a few more network TV parts with lifetimes of one episode, Pascal landed six episodes of The Good Wife. He played, in his own words, a “jerk lawyer” who goes toe-to-toe with Julianna Margulies.

His next job was in The Mentalist, where Pascal played a rival love interest who threatens the relationship of the two leads, played by Simon Baker and Robin Tunney. Without restraint in his words, Pascal said of the role: “There I was like the sad love interest.” He added that the writers “[brought] someone so that people would start to freak out that these two [leads] They might not end up together.”

Pascal attends the 26th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles on Jan. 19, 2020 (Getty Images)

Pascal attends the 26th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles on Jan. 19, 2020 (Getty Images)

In between these roles, Pascal did work for other American crime series like CSI and Law & Order. However, it wasn’t until Game of Thrones that she became a familiar face, given the sheer scale of the fantasy series. He often credits the role with changing his life, telling Entertainment Weekly in 2022: “Game of Thrones was this incredible, ideal experience really to be able to play this beautifully written, iconic character who has a great entrance and a great exit.” in a very, very solid season of the series. All I can say is that I had the time of my life and I wouldn’t be sitting here if it wasn’t for that role.”

It opened doors for him and he began landing lead character roles in TV shows like Narcos and big-budget movies like Kingsman 2: The Golden Circle. But his biggest break came when he was cast as Din Djarin in The Mandalorian, an opportunity that would turn out to be the role of a lifetime for him.

At the premiere of the eighth season of Game of Thrones in 2019 (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

At the premiere of the eighth season of Game of Thrones in 2019 (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

However, playing Mando also came with its own risks. The core of the character revolves around keeping her face hidden under his helmet with an almost religious loyalty. This means having to sacrifice valuable screen time, but also portraying a character with no discernible facial expressions. Few actors could have pulled it off as skillfully as Pascal, who admits it was all down to his theatrical experience. “I’m not even sure if I’d be able to do it if it wasn’t for the amount of direct experience I’ve had being on stage,” he said. Entertainment Weekly in 2020, “to understand how to pose yourself, how to physically frame yourself in something, and tell a story with a very, very specific gesture, posture, or vocal intonation.”

Despite playing a faceless character, Pascal somehow managed to win over viewers around the world. The growing underground popularity of him only continued to increase as The Mandalorian progressed from season one to season two. Now that he’s taken on the role of Joel in The Last Of Us, Pascal’s sympathy has nearly boiled over.

With equally beloved sidekick Grogu (Baby Yoda) in The Mandalorian (Disney+/PA)

With equally beloved sidekick Grogu (Baby Yoda) in The Mandalorian (Disney+/PA)

It has as much to do with her personality as it does with her acting skills. Pascal is energetic, participates in interviews, and always offers a fair amount of flirtation when possible. He is not overly arrogant and happily puts himself down when he feels he is correct (a fan once compared him to “Orlando Bloom if you got hit in the face with a shovel”, and happily accepted the comparison). he is a leftist and a supporter of LGBTQ+ rights, especially in regards to his sister Lux, who is an actress and transgender activist. For a long time, he interacted with fans, offering humorous responses to thirsty Twitter mentions of him, though (heartbreakingly) he’s since deleted Twitter of him.

However, he maintains a certain mystery by keeping his private life under wraps. His only official relationship has been with Law & Order actress Maria Dizzia, though he’s been linked to co-stars Robin Tunney and Lena Headey before (however, he always calls them his “good friends” when asked, so that we may never know the truth). ).

Man of the hour: Pedro Pascal (Getty Images for Variety)

Man of the hour: Pedro Pascal (Getty Images for Variety)

This may play a role in his status as a resident in love with everyone right now, given that he hasn’t closed that super-valuable wish-fulfillment door: is he gay, is he straight, could he be somewhere in between? Is he single, is he drunk, is he secretly married to some mid-level producer who never takes to red carpets? Without the answers, anything is possible.

Ultimately, it’s not that hard to understand how Pascal has managed to take over the world: he’s a good actor, he’s attractive, and he has a show that airs on HBO’s prime time slot.

But there’s an extra layer that his peers (Jacob Elordi, Jeremy Strong and Theo James) have yet to achieve, and may never achieve: there are plenty of good actors out there. There are many attractive actors. There are many actors with charisma, but not all of them have it in excess like Pascal. The man has that good old-fashioned flirtation, and we’re absolutely enjoying it.

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