Pedro Pascal is flying high on The Mandalorian, but defining success by his earthly bonds

The Wonder Woman 1984 and The Mandalorian star is one of EW's Entertainers of the Year.

By Chancellor Agard

Human connection. It’s vital. Especially in a year like 2020. Especially for Pedro Pascal. So it’s ironic that the 45-year-old’s highest-profile success to date is working with an adorable animatronic puppet, inside a chrome helmet he famously can’t take off. "It is why I wanted to do this show. Selfishly, I knew [the Child, a.k.a. Baby Yoda] was likely to make people fall in love with the show," says Pascal of tackling the title role on The Mandalorian, the Emmy-nominated hit Star Wars series, which returned for its second season on Disney+ in October.

The Chilean-American actor has an eye for choosing projects where he’ll stand out, from popular network procedurals including The Good Wife, The Mentalist, and Law & Order to his breakout roles as the charming — and horny — Oberyn Martell on Game of Thrones and, soon after, DEA agent Javier Peña on Net­flix’s Narcos. But it’s the stoic bounty hunter safeguarding a frog-egg-eating 50-year-old toddler that’s made him a house­hold name. The new season of The Mandalorian followed Pascal’s galaxy-traveling warrior as he searched for the home of the Child, generating countless memes in the process.

Playing the Mandalorian has been one of the hardest and most unique experiences of Pascal's career to date. At this point, it's no secret that he wasn't physically under the helmet as much as he would've liked in season 1 and recorded his dialogue in post-production to match what his doubles, stunt actors Brendan Wayne and Lateef Crowder, did on set in the armor. Giving a largely vocal performance was a challenge for a physical actor like Pascal, who is almost unrecognizable when you compare his turns on The Good Wife and Game of Thrones, for example, because of how he carries himself. Yet, being on set way more in The Mandalorian season 2 didn't make his job any easier because he still had to figure how to make Mando compelling while also being as economical as possible in his physical movements and vocal performance.


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