Pedro Pascal is a Chilean and American actor best known for his work on HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones, Disney+’s ‘The Mandalorian,’ and Netflix’s ‘Narcos.’
Who is Pedro Pascal?
Chilean-American actor José Pedro Balmaceda Pascal was born 2 April 1975. His parents were Jose Balmaceda, a fertility doctor, and Veronica Pascal, a child psychologist and the niece of Andrés Pascal Allende, leader of the country’s Revolutionary Left Movement. His family relocated to the United States in the 1970s during a military dictatorship that took place in Chile. The US is where Pascal’s dreams of becoming an actor took root. He landed a few roles early on, though did not find immediate success.
In 1999, Pascal’s mother died by suicide. Thereafter, Pascal began using his mother’s surname professionally, both in honor of her and because he said Americans had some difficulty pronouncing his first surname, Balmaceda.
Early Life and Education
As devout followers of Allende, Pascal’s parents were active in resistance groups against the Pinochet dictatorship. Because of this, Pascal’s parents, with his sister and the nine-month-old Pascal fled a military dictatorship in Chile in the 1970s. The family sought refuge in the Venezuelan Embassy in Santiago, and were later granted political asylum in Denmark. The family later relocated to the United States, and Pascal was raised in Orange County, California and San Antonio, Texas. By the time Pascal was 8, his family was able to make regular visits to Chile to visit their relatives. Pascal grew up speaking Spanish and English.
During his early years, Pascal was actively involved in competitive swimming. He even took part in the state’s championships in Texas at the age of 11. However, movies were a big part of Pascal’s childhood. He stopped competitive swimming after getting into drama class. Pascal began studying acting at Orange County Schools of the Arts, graduating in 1993 and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, graduating in 1997. During his time at New York University, a fellow student introduced Pascal to Sarah Paulson, who became a lifelong friend.
Pedro Pascal has appeared in several movies and TV shows, including Graceland, The Mentalist, Homeland, The Good Wife, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He starred as kidnapper Reggie in the Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode “Weeping Willow,” and appeared as Special Agent Greer in Law & Order: SVU episode “Smoked.” He was cast as Oberyn Martell in the fourth season of the HBO series Game of Thrones in June 2013. According to Pascal, he was a huge fan of Game of Thrones before being cast as Oberyn and was elated to join. Pascal starred as a DEA agent Javier Pena in the Netflix series ‘Narcos’ in 2015. He appeared as the title character in the hit Disney + series ‘The Mandalorian’ in 2019. The same year, Pascal also starred as Francisco “Catfish” Morales in the Netflix heist drama Triple Frontier. He also appeared in the DC Extended Universe film Wonder Woman 1984, directed by Patty Jenkins. The film was released to theaters and HBO Max on 25th December 2020, following delays due to COVID-19 pandemic.
In February 2021, Pascal starred as Joel Miller for the upcoming HBO adaptation of The Last of US. During the same month, Pascal starred in the Judd Apatow film The Bubble, which premiered on Netflix on 1 April 2022. He appeared in the comedy The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, which he co-starred with Nicolas Cage. The comedy premiered at SXSW in April.
Pascal has extensive stage experience as both an actor and director. He has performed in classical and contemporary works. He received the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award and Garland Award for his role in the International City Theater production of Orphans. He is a member of New York City’s LAByrinth Theater Company. In February 2019, Pascal made his Broadway debut in an adaptation of King Lear with Glenda Jackson and Ruth Wilson.
His Family and Personal Life
Pascal’s father was one of the doctors running a fertility clinic at the University of California, Irvine in 1995 who were accused of underreporting cash payments. The doctors were also accused of taking eggs and embryos from unknowing patients, some of which were implanted in other women.
In September 1995, Pascal’s father returned to Chile to avoid facing charges. Pascal’s mother and his two younger siblings joined his father. In 1999, Pascal’s mother died by suicide. Pascal’s father agreed to plead guilty to tax fraud in 2021. Pascal contends that his father did nothing wrong. (At the time of the alleged egg and embryo thefts, it was not illegal to steal human tissue).
Pascal has supported his sister Lux, who came out as transgender. He is an outspoken advocate of LGBTQ+ rights.
Pascal is close friends with Oscar Isaac and Sarah Paulson. During the 2021 Chilean presidential election, Pascal endorsed Chilean President Gabriel Boric, stating that he is an agnostic and a liberal.