Pedro Pascal Didn't Put Much Thought Into Joining The Last Of Us Or The Mandalorian

Pedro Pascal, our beloved Mando in "The Mandalorian," and Joel Miller in HBO's upcoming adaptation of "The Last of Us," is on one hell of a career trajectory. Pascal's journey as a television actor can be traced as far back as 1999 — the actor guest-starred in episodes of prominent shows over the years, including "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Law & Order," and "The Mentalist." After he had his eyes gouged out as Oberyn Martell in "Game of Thrones," Pascal finally started getting the recognition he deserves, paving the path for his breakthrough lead role in "Narcos." Since then, Pascal has had an affinity for choosing characters who harbor complex motivations and often function on the fringes of society. Or maybe, these overlapping traits are mere coincidence.

In a recent interview with Wired, Pascal was asked whether he deliberately gravitates toward characters that play into the "tough, conflicted outsider status," such as Din Djarin and Joel Miller. Pascal clarified that he did not really give much thought before joining these really high-stakes roles, given the nature of these opportunities and the individuals helming these projects. Pascal said:

"I find it funny when anyone applies choice to my experience. Of course, you can say no to things, but you can't say no to Jon Favreau, Kathleen Kennedy, Dave Filoni, or HBO. It never felt like stopping and considering what the characters were. It was simply the circumstance of a door opening and stepping through it."

Pascal is surprisingly candid about the inspiration behind saying yes to a role, and his honesty is refreshing. When it specifically comes to "Star Wars," Pascal understands the value of the burgeoning franchise, which made it fairly easy for him to slip into the shoes of the show's titular bounty hunter. But, what drove him to become Joel?

Making the best of presented opportunities

As for his highly-anticipated role as Joel in "The Last of Us," Pascal's reasoning behind joining the franchise was purely practical. In the same Wired interview linked above, Pascal remarked that his motivation for joining the project was simply the opportunity to work with screenwriter and director, Craig Mazin

"To be totally honest, it was wanting to work with Craig Mazin, who did Chernobyl. Also, HBO is content that I literally grew up on. I experienced their original programming. Their original programming was very, very mature."

Mazin, who predominantly specializes in writing parody films, proved his caliber as a director with his five-part HBO miniseries, "Chernobyl." Given the masterfully taut nature of the miniseries, and its sensitive, layered exploration of the real-life nuclear disaster, it is no surprise that Pascal seized on the opportunity to work with Mazin on an ambitious video game adaptation. Pascal has been honest about his relationship with the source material: while he was not acquainted with the game series prior to accepting the project, he made it a point to play it extensively, in spite of studio directions to not do so. This allowed Pascal to understand Joel's character in greater depth, including his tell-tale inflections, motivations, and knee-jerk emotional impulses. Basing this as a jumping-off point, Pascal is set to make Joel Miller his own. 

As for playing Grogu's protective guardian, Pascal is set to return for the show's third season, which might delve deeper into Din's personal arc and where he stands in the face of the galaxy. While Pascal might not be intentionally choosing roles of a specific tint and variety, he surely does justice to their inherent complexities. May be keep seizing more opportunities that work in his favor.