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Pedro Pascal: 3 keys to understanding his rise in Hollywood

The Chilean-American actor, who shines in The Mandalorian and Wonder Woman 1984, was named Artist of the Year by EW.

Still from the trailer for the movie 'Wonder Woman 1984'

The Chilean-American actor is one of the figures in the new Disney + series. / Photo: YT-HBO Max

LatinAmerican Post | Diego Trujillo

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Leer en español: Pedro Pascal: 3 claves para entender su ascenso en Hollywood

Pedro Pascal is on the crest of the wave. The protagonist of The Mandalorian (Disney +) was named Artist of the year by the prestigious Entertainment Weekly (EW) magazine and the critics of Wonder Woman 1984 have highlighted his performance as one of the villains of the film.

The series based on the universe of Star Wars - nominated for an Emmy - has been one of the great steps of his career. "You may not see his face on The Mandalorian and he may share the spotlight with an adorable animatronic puppet, but Pedro Pascal definitely made his presence known on the Disney+ series and throughout this year," said EW when choosing him as one of its artists of the year 2020.

A great moment for this Chilean-American actor, born in Santiago, on April 2, 1975, and whose real name is José Pedro Balmaceda Pascal. Next, we will tell you 3 keys that led this Latin American to the front page of Hollywood.

Be patient in the face of adversity

Pascal studied theater at the Tisch School of the Arts in New York, and after graduating he landed a few roles in TV series such as Undressed and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. At that time he became close friends with Oscar Isaac, whom he met doing a play on Off Broadway.

In an interview that Pascal gave this year to Variety - where he was on the cover - he said that they began to share their passions and frustrations in the difficult artistic environment of the Big Apple. "It has improved, but at that point, it was very easy to be pigeonholed into very specific roles, because we were Latinos," he told the magazine, adding that at that time, they had great financial difficulties. "The dream we had was to be able to pay the rent," Isaac himself said in the same article.

Although he had landed a more prominent role in Law & Order, Pascal was not happy. That is why she decided to ask her great friend, actress Sarah Paulson (Ratched, American Horror Story) for help: with a cell phone, she recorded an audition that would change her destiny.

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Taking advantage of the opportunity

Sarah Paulson was close friends with Amanda Peet (Dirty John), the wife of David Benioff, one of the creators of Game of Thrones (HBO). The director received the casting of Pascal, recorded with an iPhone. "And it wasn't one of those fancy iPhones with good cameras. It looked really bad; it was shot vertically; it was all very amateurish. Except for its performance, which was intense and believable and just good," Benioff told Variety.

This is how Pedro Pascal became Oberyn Martell, aka Red Viper, one of the most prominent characters in the series' fourth season. "Oberyn was in the middle of the story, but it required the arrogance of a character who had been in contention with the rest, off-screen, for years," he explained. "We were looking for an actor with charisma, sexual energy, physically threatening and who had depth. He had to be seductive for both men and women; he had to be someone credible as a murderer for the public."

A finding that catapulted Pascal to the big leagues, as it hit the nail on the head in his performance. "He understood who the character really was and then he portrayed the man, discarding everything that could be false," said the director.

Pascal seized the opportunity: when the season was fully recorded, "there was no doubt that Pedro was going to be a star," Benioff said.

Know how to choose their roles

Pedro Pascal has known how to choose. After Game of Thrones, he became the protagonist of Narcos (Netflix), and made his way into the movies (The Great Wall, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, among others).

But, without a doubt, 2020 has been his great year. As the protagonist of the phenomenon that has meant The Mandalorian, he is also the villain Maxwell Lord of Wonder Woman 1984, where he shares a cast with Gal Gadot, Chris Pine and Kristen Wiig. The premiere of the film (December 25), has attracted attention because it takes place simultaneously in movie theaters and streaming (HBO Max).

Lord is a role that he enjoyed doing, as he had in his hands an excellent script, written by the director of the film, Patty Jenkins, along with Geoff Johns and David Callaham. "I didn't have to take something and figure out how to give it more meat. I had to get under the skin of the character they were introducing me to," Pascal told EW.

Critics have been enthusiastic. Brandon Davis (Comicbook: Maxwell) expressed on Twitter that Pedro Pascal "gives all of himself in a wild interpretation of Max Lord, a conflicted but vile villain", highlighting his interpretation and that of Wiig, the other villain on duty.

On the same social network, Eric Eisenberg (CinemaBlend) agrees, who qualifies both as "stellar."