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Pedro Pascal: In Appreciation Of The Mandalorian & more

by Conor O'Brien
Pedro Pascal TLOU

In the first edition of our “In Appreciation Of” series, we look at Pedro Pascal and his versatile roles.

Welcome to In Appreciation Of, where we highlight actors, personalities, filmmakers and projects that have made an undeniable impact on popular culture.

There’s no denying that Pedro Pascal has struck gold with some of his latest projects.

The 48-year-old was born José Pedro Balmaceda Pascal in Santiago, Chile.

Before finding acting, he was a competitive swimmer in his youth.

Pascal is also not the only famous member of his family – his sister, Lux, is a transgender activist.

He has become a Hollywood superstar in recent years, with well-received roles in high-grossing projects across TV and Film.

However, despite the current successful phase of Pascal’s career, things weren’t always so bright.

Like many actors, Pascal struggled in his early career. It was recently reported that close friend, American Horror Story star Sarah Paulson gave some of her earnings to Pascal so he could eat.

Early Career

Everyone starts somewhere.

While the phrase “overnight success” gets thrown around a lot, the reality is many actors spend years working until getting their moment in the spotlight.

Before becoming a star, Pascal guest-starred on several popular TV series in the 90s through to the 2010s.

Usually, just single-episode guest spots.

The list includes Homeland, Law & Order (multiple series in that franchise), Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Nurse Jackie and Without A Trace.

Go back and see if you can find Pascal’s episodes/roles on those shows.

Additionally, he also has extensive stage experience – he played Horatio in a 2005 production of Hamlet and was in the ensemble for a 2006 staging of Macbeth.

HBO

Recurring Roles – Game of Thrones & More

It was in the mid-late 2010s that Pascal started landing meatier TV roles.

Perhaps most notably during this time, he played Oberyn Martell in Game of Thrones Season 4.

He also scored multi-episode parts on other series, such as The Mentalist.

After wrapping Thrones, film offers started coming in for Pascal.

He played villains in Kingsman and The Equalizer sequels, just as his television career was starting to heat up…

Star Roles

Pascal started fully hitting home runs from about 2015 onwards.

He played Javier Peña, the DEA agent tasked with bringing down Pablo Escobar, on hit Netflix series Narcos.

In 2019, Pascal joined the Star Wars universe with the critically acclaimed series The Mandalorian, in which he plays the title character.

Warner Bros

He has starred in all 3 seasons to date and in fellow Disney+ series The Book Of Boba Fett.

The first season of The Mandalorian received a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Drama Series.

In the meantime, Pascal returned to his villainous ways on the big screen, playing Max Lord in Wonder Woman 1984.

In 2023, he took on yet another source-material-inspired role on HBO’s The Last Of Us.

Inspired by the popular video game, Pascal plays “Joel”, a hardened middle-aged survivor of a zombie apocalypse.

The series premiere brought in over 4 million viewers and the show has been picked up for Season 2.

What do his peers have to say?

Many fellow actors have spoken favorably about Pascal.

In a recent interview with SweetyHigh, his Mandalorian co-star Katee Sackhoff said:

“Pedro’s amazing. What he brings to the character is so important. You cannot have this character without him.”

Katee Sackhoff, SweetyHigh (2023)
HBO

Meanwhile, in an interview with Vanity Fair, The Last of Us co-star Bella Ramsey commented:

“Me and Pedro, it was sometimes like father-daughter energy but most of the time it was like two annoying siblings who like love each other and annoy everybody else. I also felt like I was his dad sometimes.

“I told him to like, breathe. Like, “It’s okay, you are doing a great job.” He also did that a lot to me. But he also was like a super dad sometimes.

Bella Ramsey, Vanity Fair (2023)

In an interview with GamesRadar, Troy Baker (who played Joel in The Last of Us video game) offered his perspective on Pascal’s performance:

“What I love is that you don’t necessarily think Pedro Pascal, but the second that you mention the name, you go, ‘Okay, okay, I can see that’. And then you see him as Joel, and then you watch him as Joel.

And what it showed me was that thankfully this character is bigger than any one performance.”

Troy Baker, GamesRadar (2023)

Pedro Pascal has already accomplished so much and it looks like he’ll continue to shine bright.

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