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Pedro Pascal: Hollywood’s Latest Heartthrob

Written by: Mark Aguilar 🇸🇻

Image via Peacock

It seems like you can’t go on social media today without seeing at least one fan-made edit of Pedro Pascal. Whether it’s him in one of his films, out on the streets, or doing an interview, fans can’t get enough of him. With the recent success of his new HBO series, The Last of Us, it seems like Pascal has reached the summit of Hollywood stardom. How has the Chilean-born actor become one of the most in-demand actors working right now?

José Pedro Balmaceda Pascal was born in Santiago, Chile. It wasn’t until he was nine months old that his family fled the country due to the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, who went into power two years earlier. Pascal’s family found refuge in the Venezuelan embassy in Santiago, until later gaining asylum in Denmark. Eventually, the family moved to the U.S. where Pascal would spend most of his childhood and adult years.

After studying acting and graduating from NYU in 1997, Pascal struggled to find consistent work in the industry. Pascal’s family was also going through a tough time as his father had recently fled back to Chile after being indicted on mail fraud and income tax evasion charges in the U.S. Pascal’s mother also passed away in 1999. He began using his mother’s last name. Pascal, over Balmaceda in honor of her, and also because it was easier for Americans to pronounce.

Pascal has been a working actor since 1999, usually getting small roles in television. After over a decade of working in the industry, Pascal finally got his breakout role as Oberyn Martell in Game of Thrones on HBO. His recurring role on one of the biggest television shows of all time earned him larger roles, with the next one coming in 2015 as Javier Peña on Netflix’s Narcos.

Pascal became the lead of Narcos during season 3, growing his stock even larger. In 2017, he was featured as a supporting character in Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Although the film received mixed reviews, Pascal came out as a fan favorite for his comedic and charming performance.

Other large film supporting roles came Pascal’s way, such as The Equalizer 2 (2018), If Beale Street Could Talk (2018), Triple Frontier (2019), and Wonder Woman 1984 (2020). Although he’d yet to feature as the lead in a major Hollywood film, Pascal never failed to impress in his supporting roles.

Image via HBO Max

As he continued to work in television, Pascal landed the lead role in the Disney+ series, The Mandalorian– which was a massive success. However, despite joining the Star Wars universe in the acclaimed series, Pascal’s head was covered for the entirety of the first season. The appeal of the show is the characters from the Star Wars universe and not Pascal in particular, although he certainly kills it in the leading role, and joining a large franchise only boosted his career further.

In 2022, Pascal co-starred in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent alongside the legendary Nicolas Cage. Although it flopped at the box office, it was yet another charming and likable performance by Pascal. The same year also saw him featured in Judd Apatow’s The Bubble, possibly the worst film in Pascal’s filmography.

Finally, in early 2023 the much anticipated HBO adaptation of the critically acclaimed video game was released– The Last of Us. Pascal was cast as the lead, Joel Miller and the series was a smashing success. Pedro Pascal possibly gave the best acting performance of his career in the series, and it’s since been renewed for season 2.

Following the success of The Last of Us, Pascal’s popularity skyrocketed to new heights. Social media took notice and it wasn’t long until millions of fans proclaimed their love for the actor. Despite the media attraction he has gained, Pascal doesn’t mind embracing his “daddy” nickname given to him through Tik Tok.

Pascal’s spectacular year isn’t over however as he’ll be starting in Pedro Almodóvar’s newest short film Strange Way of Life, alongside Ethan Hawke. The queer Western drama is set to premiere at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, where Pascal is sure to make headlines again.

Image via Variety

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