The Complete Evolution Of The Last Of Us Star Pedro Pascal

If you've been online during literally any part of 2023, you've certainly come across Pedro Pascal by now. The effect Pedro Pascal has on the world is just insurmountable. From becoming a TikTok trend to acting in one of HBO's biggest shows, Pascal has become the "it" man seemingly overnight.

Believe it or not, though, Pascal has been acting for decades and has taken on a wide range of projects. In an interview with Den of Geek, director Robert Rodriquez even compared the actor to Harrison Ford. "He's like this everyman type guy," he said. "He can be funny, he can be really intense, he can be very heroic."

Beyond his talented acting chops and iconic roles, people are also taking notice of the way he exudes charisma, charm, and devastatingly handsome serves. But his rise to fame didn't exactly come easy. With years as a struggling actor, his hard work and perseverance are finally starting to pay off, and it's safe to say that he won't be going away anytime soon.

He immigrated to the U.S. when he was just a baby

Shortly after Pedro Pascal was born, he and his family were forced to flee from their homeland in Chile. At the time, Pascal's parents worked for an opposition movement against Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet.

"My mother's cousin was very primary in the opposition against the military regime, but there was a huge degree of separation between him and my parents," Pascal told Time. "Still, helping some people hide got them into hot water — eventually they got to the Venezuelan embassy and claimed asylum."

From there, the family was sent to Denmark and then the U.S. for political asylum. "My sister and I were born in Chile and raised in the States," Pascal explained, "and my little brothers were born in the States and raised in Chile after my parents moved back in 1995."

Movies were a big part of his childhood

Acting has been in Pedro Pascal's blood practically his whole life, and films had a particularly great deal of influence on him as a child.

In an interview with Time, Pascal shared that as a kid, his father would often take him and the rest of the family to the movies. So when his acting career really took off, it became a very surreal experience to share with his father. "My dad is so impressed," Pascal revealed. "He's so amazed. And so happy," the actor added.

As Pascal recounted in an interview with BBC Radio 2, one of his favorite childhood movies was "Indiana Jones." He loved the movie so much that he broke his arm on two separate occasions while imitating the eponymous character — talk about method acting! It wasn't until Pascal attended high school at the Orange County School of the Arts in California that he became more serious and involved with acting. "I was obsessed with drama and classic movies and reading plays," Pascal told The New York Times.

Pedro Pascal worked as a go-go dancer while in acting school

While studying acting at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Pedro Pascal studied abroad in Madrid, Spain, as part of an anthropology course. During his time there, he landed a gig as a go-go dancer after a chance meeting with the nightclub owner, Dani Pannullo.

"He gave me work at his club, at his parties," Pascal explained in an interview with The Olive Press. "It was in the House of Devotion, which was held every Thursday in Morocco nightclub." But don't get the wrong idea — Pascal made sure to clarify that it was not a strip club. "I did not take my clothes off, but I danced and wore silver hair." 

More recently, Pascal shared his old go-go moves with friend Jeremy O'Harris, who recorded and uploaded a video of Pascal's moves on his Tiktok story, and it's safe to say he's still got it.

He lost his mother early on in his career

In the early years of his career, Pedro Pascal managed to book several small roles in shows such as "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "The Good Wife," "NYPD Blue," and Law & Order. Sadly, just as Pascal's career was getting started, his mother died unexpectedly. "She was always incredibly supportive, never a stage mom," Pascal said to People. "I always felt like she knew something that I didn't." "None of [my success] would be real if it weren't for her," he said.

Shortly after her death, Pascal changed his last name from Balmaceda to Pascal as to honor his late mother's last name. He also explained that the name change helped eliminate any difficulty Americans had in pronouncing Balmaceda.

Around the same time, he also tried changing his first name to Alexander in the hopes of having a better success rate in booking roles, but it didn't make enough of a difference. "I was willing to do absolutely anything to work more," he told Variety. "And that meant if people felt confused by who they were looking at in the casting room because his first name was Pedro, then I'll change that. It didn't work."

He acted in off-Broadway plays

Although most of us know Pedro Pascal best as an on-screen actor, he took on quite a few roles in off-Broadway productions – including "Orphans," "Anna and the Tropics," "Lorenzaccio," "Gizmo Love," "Lobby Hero," "American Buffalo," and "Floating Weeds."

In 2006, Pascal was also in the production "Beauty of the Father" with his friend and fellow actor, Oscar Isaac. Pascal played Moroccant immigrant Karim, while Isaac played Federico Garcia Lorca, which Variety described as "a mascot of gay martyrdom makes an apt soulmate and spiritual guide." Although the two didn't make much money at the time, they both had big dreams of becoming big-time actors. And it's safe to say their dreams came true.

These days, Isaac is known for his roles in "Dune," "The Card Counter," "Legend of Destruction," and the "Star Wars" sequel trilogy. In a full-circle turn of events, Pascal also joined the "Star Wars" universe as the Mandolrian in the Disney+ series of the same name — a role that Isaac encouraged him to take.

His big breakout role was in Game of Thrones

In 2014, Pedro Pascal joined the "Game of Thrones" franchise as Oberyn Martell of House of Martell, the younger brother of Doran and Elia. His character can be described as a strong fighter with a temper and fluid sexuality.

Pascal's close friend and fellow actor Sarah Paulson had a hand in getting him the role by passing along his audition tape to her friend Amanda Peet, the wife of "Game of Thrones" co-showrunner David Benioff. Benioff recalled Pascal's audition video as making a memorable standout, being shot vertically in iPhone's selfie mode; however, his talent was still so remarkable that it landed him the role. Benioff described his performance to Variety as "intense and believable and just right."

After the season wrapped, Benioff knew Pascal was going places. "Once we saw the entire season there was no doubt Pedro was going to be a star," he told the publication. "I thought he deserved more recognition, frankly. ... But [co-showrunner D.B. (Dan) Weiss] and I were thrilled that we gave Pedro a job that helped his ascent, because he's an absolute gem of an actor and a man."

In 2015, Pedro Pascal's mustache became part of his signature look

Pedro Pascal's mustache has basically become part of his signature look and without it, he just wouldn't be the same. In an interview with Wired, Pascal revealed that one of the auto-filled Google results that follows Pedro Pascal" is "Pedro Pascal mustache." Pascal explained that the origin of his signature stache came after it received so much high praise from people including his old boss, who suggested he make it part of his look.

Right before shooting started for the show "Narcos" — Pascal's next big role after "Game of Thrones" — he was starring in a play and his boss outright told him to "keep the stache" after he saw him, and the rest is history. He continues, "And now people are like, 'Don't ever get rid of your mustache. You look like my grandmother without it.'"

Although his mustache has become a staple, Pascal shared with Vanity Fair in a lie detector test that he actually can't grow a full mustache. "I get away with what I can," he admitted. He also gave props to Nick Offerman's mustache saying, "Best facial hair I've seen on a man."

He landed a fragrance deal in 2017

In 2017, Pedro Pascal became the new face of the fragrance Solo by the Spanish brand Loewe. As part of the deal, he starred in a series of commercials for the brand. The fragrance comes in an amber shade housed in sleek, translucent glass bottle. Loewe describes its notes as "guava with cumin, musk, and Italian mandarin."

On the perfumery site Fragrantica, one customer described the cologne as "fruity, slightly citrusy, with spices as nutmeg and thyme, and an aromatic lavender with a warm base of amber." We'll go ahead and assume that's what Pascal smells like too.

In a behind-the-scenes clip of one Loewe Solocommercial, Pascal can be seen practicing the way he says "Solo Loewe" with many different expressions and moods in a funny, almost method-acting-exercise way. 

He became the Mandalorian

In 2019, Pedro Pascal took on a huge fatherly role as the Mandalorian to none other than Grogu (aka Baby Yoda/The Child) in Disney+'s "The Mandolorian." After being tasked with safely transporting "The Child" to his new owner, viewers follow Mando's and Grogu's journey and see Pascal's character slowly warm up to his new acquaintance. 

Although he may not show much emotion as Mando, Pascal clearly has a soft spot for Grogu. In a red carpet interview with ScreenRant, Pascal was asked if he had any guesses as to what Grogu's first words might be, and he just lit up. "Oh my gosh, what are his first words?" he said, pondering. "It has to be daddy."

Before Pascal knew anything about "The Mandalorian," executive producer Jon Favreau knew he wanted to cast Pascal. "He feels very much like a classic movie star in his charm and his delivery," Favreau told Variety. "And he's somebody who takes his craft very seriously." To win over Pascal, Favreau gave Pascal an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the storyboard, and it worked.

Shortly after its debut on Disney+, "The Mandalorian" became the most-watched U.S. television series across all streaming platforms. During its first week, it racked in an impressive 100.3 million views.

He embodies Joel Miller in HBO's The Last of Us

Pedro Pascal stars in the HBO hit series "The Last of Us," based on the 2013 video game. Pascal plays a darker but familiar fatherly role to his role in "The Mandalorian." In the series, his character Joel takes in a teenager named Ellie, played by "Game of Thrones" actor Bella Ramsey, so he can smuggle her to safety during a post-apocalyptic pandemic.

The show instantly became a hit, ranking as HBO's second-largest debut for an original series since 2010. To give you an idea of how many views it took to make that happen, Episode 1 racked in 10 million views within just two days of its release. It also broke the record for the highest-rated premiere of any video game adaptation, taking the place of "The Witcher," starring Henry Cavill, according to  News Direct.

Season 2 for "The Last of Us" was confirmed in January 2023, and Pascal even suggested to Collider that filming could start as early as this year.

Pedro Pascal became the internet's 'daddy'

In 2023, the internet collectively crowned Pedro Pascal as the internet's "daddy" due to his career-defining fatherly roles, silver-fox looks, and his charming personality. 

Pascal being deemed "daddy" has gone so far it's practically become a new trend on social media where fans have made everything from thirst trap tweets to compromising TikTok edits exclusively for fans to fawn and lust over.

The daddy term has become so synonymous with Pascal that he's even spoken about it in countless interviews. He even admitted in a lie detector test with Vanity Fair that he browses Pedro Pascal fan accounts when he's feeling down. In the same interview, when deciding who was the daddy between him and his friend Oscar Isaac, Pascal admitted, "He's got kids and I don't." He then continued, "But daddy is like a state of mind... I'm your daddy."

However, it's probably safe to say the craze has gone a little too far for the actor, as Pascal turned down an Access Hollywood interviewer's request for him to read "thirst tweets" while attending the Season 3 premiere of "The Mandalorian."

He hosted Saturday Night Live in 2023 and showed off his goofy side

On February 2023, Pedro Pascal hosted "Saturday Night Live" for the very first time. Coldplay performed as the musical guest and even dedicated their song "Fix You" to the actor and his late mother, Veronica.

Pascal's monologue began with a few jokes and ended with a very heartfelt message thanking his parents for their sacrifices after being forced to flee their country. "I was born in Chile, and nine months later, my parents fled Pinochet and brought me and my sister to the U.S," he said. "They were so brave and without them, I wouldn't be here in this wonderful country, and I certainly wouldn't be standing here with you all tonight."

The night's sketches really gave audiences a glimpse into Pascal's quirky, fun sense of humor — a side viewers don't get to see on-screen often. A few memorable skits included him poking fun at being TikTok's daddy and bringing surprise guest Sarah Paulson to partner with him as "mother."