Pedro Pascal Admitted That He Was So Happy To Be Recognized By “Game Of Thrones” Fans That He Let Them Recreate His Grisly Onscreen Death For Photo Ops
These days, Pedro Pascal is perhaps best known for his breakout roles in The Last of Us and The Mandalorian, but the star has actually been acting since the ‘90s.
While he might be a beloved global icon now — at the age of 48 — it has taken him years to establish his name in the acting world, which he joined at 21 years old.
Pedro started out with performances in short films and minor roles in popular shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and first entered mainstream consciousness when he was cast in the fourth season of Game of Thrones in 2014.
Although his character, Oberyn Martell, only appeared in seven episodes of the HBO fantasy series, he was an immediate fan favorite. This was largely due to his charm, sexual promiscuity, inherent hatred of the villainous Lannister family, and eventual allegiance with the popular character of Tyrion.
If you need reminding, Oberyn’s grisly death was a result of him offering to fight for Tyrion in a trial by combat against Gregor Clegane, otherwise known as The Mountain. Oberyn volunteered because he wanted to get revenge on Gregor for raping and killing his sister and her children.
In an incredibly tense scene, viewers saw Oberyn quickly floor Gregor in the fight but ultimately refuse to kill him before he admitted to the attack on his family.
Because of this hesitation, Gregor was able to regain power and ended up killing Oberyn by slowly gouging his eyes out with his bare hands, all while cruelly detailing what he had done to his sister.
Oberyn’s brutal death is largely considered to be one of the most iconic in Game of Thrones’ history, so it is perhaps unsurprising that Pedro started to gain recognition once his episodes aired.
And now, during an appearance on the Hollywood Reporter’s TV Drama Actor Roundtable, Pedro has admitted that he was so excited to finally be recognized in public by fans that when he first started to be approached by them he literally let them do whatever they wanted.
In fact, Pedro’s lack of personal boundaries led to him catching an eye infection after he let several strangers put their thumbs in his eyes to recreate Oberyn’s famous scene for a photo op.
As he and the other actors at the roundtable discussed their experiences of meeting fans, Pedro shared: “I remember early — because of Game of Thrones and the way that my character died — people were super into taking selfies with their thumbs in my eyes.”
The other actors were clearly stunned by Pedro’s revelation, with Succession star Kieran Culkin retorting: “Wow, that’s a lot of trust to give to a stranger!”
“At first I was so kind of earnest and happy about the success of the character in the show I would let them,” Pedro confessed. “In New York of all places!”
“And I remember getting a little bit of an eye infection and then it stopped,” he added.
Acknowledging that Pedro is now usually seen wearing glasses, Kieran joked in response: “Hence the glasses, right? Protection.”
Elsewhere in the roundtable chat, Pedro alluded to how long it took for him to get his big break as he heaped praise on Jeff Bridges, who he called one of his “favorite actors.”
Pedro worked with Jeff on the 2017 movie Kingsman: The Golden Circle and said that seeing how he did things on set was “such an incredible school.”
“Having been sort of chasing jobs for so many years of my life and jobbing no matter what it was, whether it was a beer commercial or a play at Second Stage or whatever, there’s a lot of heartbreak,” Pedro explained.
Recalling how in awe he was of Jeff’s work ethic so late into his career, Pedro added: “I was like: ‘Never forget to care this much about whatever you’re doing,’” before joking: “This guy is working harder than me!”
Following his success in Game of Thrones, Pedro was cast in the Netflix series Narcos and his public profile continued to grow.
However, it was landing the titular role in The Mandalorian in 2019 when things really started to take off for the actor, with his popularity skyrocketing in January of this year when The Last Of Us premiered on HBO.
This series is based on the 2013 video game of the same name and stars Pedro as Joel, a smuggler tasked with transporting teenage Ellie across postapocalyptic America.
Ellie is played by 19-year-old Bella Ramsey, and they previously revealed that Pedro had acknowledged the stark difference in how old they were when their respective careers exploded in a sweet note once they had finished filming.
Speaking in an interview with USA Today ahead of The Last Of Us’s premiere, Bella said: “Pedro wrote a little card to me at the end, saying, 'How interesting that something so huge and life-changing should happen so early in your life and so late in mine.’"
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