HBO Max has done it again. After triumphing at the Golden Globes with House of the Dragon, Euphoria and The White Lotus, he has just launched one of the most anticipated series of the year: The Last of Us. The adaptation of the Naughty Dog video game had been in the making for years with Neil Druckman himself (director of the video game) and Craig Mazin (the mind behind the fabulous Chernobyl) as showrunners. Now, its first chapter has come to light and the reviews couldn’t be more positive.
All media agree that The Last of Us is incredible, which has led it to have an impeccable score on the Rotten Tomatoes aggregator. The secrets of its success seem to be several, but one of the most talked about is the chemistry between Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, the show’s main characters who play Joel and Ellie.
During the promotion of the series, Pascal and Ramsey have had to put up with toxic attitudes from the fandom, even assuring in an interview for Yahoo that “You can’t make everyone happy” and that “they cling to superficial things and think that if those things change, we are somehow wrong”.
But the team has made it clear, after the first episode, that all those opinions were more than mistaken, and that the new version of Druckman’s story not only respects the original material but optimizes it in many ways.
Pedro Pascal, the Latin Star who has conquered TV
Although Bella Ramsey has been the main object of criticism from fans (and the one that has managed to silence the most mouths with her masterful performance), Pedro Pascal has also had to reaffirm himself to show that his Joel is unbeatable.
Pascal was born in Santiago de Chile in 1975, and grew up in a family of artists and rebels. His mother was a child psychologist and his father a fertility doctor, but both had a close relationship with art forever. In addition, they were supporters of Chilean President Salvador Allende, being part of the opposition movement of the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship for years.
The actor grew up in a complex environment during his early life, receiving asylum in Denmark to flee the dictatorship and later moving to the United States, where he ended up growing up (first in Texas and later in California). This close relationship with inequality and the counterculture led Pascal to become a journalist, but he soon began to feel more attracted to the world of acting.
In his first years as an actor, Pedro Pascal began working in small theaters in New York, as well as getting some appearances in television series such as Law and Order, The Good Wife or CSI. But his big break came from HBO. In 2014 he was chosen to play Oberyn Martell, the prince of Dorne in Game of Thrones.
Despite only appearing in 7 episodes of the fourth season, his relentless charisma made his character one of the most beloved and remembered of the series. Quickly, he got a leading role in the Narcos series, where his Javier Peña managed to be almost as remembered as Pablo Escobar himself. And they also featured him in The Mentalist, where he played Marcus Pike.
The cinema also opened its doors with films like Kingsman: The Golden Circle or The Great Wall. But it was the Star Wars universe where he made a new big leap in popularity.
The Mandalorian: Charisma Behind the Mask
Any actor would have collapsed if he had received the proposal to play Mando, the protagonist of The Mandalorian. Despite being a great character, he spends pretty much the entire show with the mask on, so it doesn’t seem like the right place to grow your career.
However, Pedro Pascal managed, in a challenge that seemed impossible, to overcome the mask and make his character have an incomparable hook despite the circumstances. So much so that, when he finally takes off his mask, the public no longer cares who is behind it: everyone knows that it is Pedro Pascal, and that the series would never have turned out so well if it weren’t for him.
In The Mandalorian, Pascal plays a role somewhat similar to the one he will play in The Last of Us: a duty father who must care for a helpless creature in a world where everything is broken. Although the tone of the Disney+ series is very different, it has undoubtedly helped him to prepare a character that, as he has just shown, will make him grow more, if possible, as one of the most coveted Latino stars of today.