Despite not winning any *actual* awards so far this season, the 2024 awards circuit belongs to one man and one man only, Pedro Pascal. From making his recent shoulder injury a fashion moment, to his hilariously bizarre feud with Kieran Culkin (still thinking about his Emmys speech), his red carpet and stage appearances are once again a reminder of why he is the king of our hearts, an obsession that’s run only deeper since his role in The Last of Us.
If you haven’t watched The Last of us, please tell me why. The show might have been billed as a post-apocalyptic zombie action, but really, what has emerged over the last ten episodes is a beautifully poignant story about love; love between parents and their children, between romantic partners, between allies, and between best friends. But perhaps most importantly, our collective love for Pedro Pascal.
I could not be more obsessed with how a man so warm, hilarious and expressive in real life has become one of the biggest names in entertainment, by playing arguably some of the most solemn and inexpressive characters of all time.
Whether you’ve played The Last of Us or watched the series, you’ll know Joel’s likeability comes from his tough cookie exterior and soft gooey centre, which Pedro has played to perfection. (Otherwise described by the man himself as “your cool, slutty daddy.” His words, not mine.) I want to record Pedro’s Joel saying to Bella Ramsey’s Ellie, “It's okay. It's okay, baby girl. I got you. I got you.” at the end of episode 9 in a loop forever. I am fairly sure wars could be ended and world peace reached by Pedro reading this line of dialogue with such calm compassion and reassurance.
But it was in the show's season finale that my frozen heart truly broke apart and melted on the floor. I challenge anyone to hear Joel reply to Ellie’s “so time heals all wounds I guess,” that “it wasn't time that did it,” and not crumble. If episode 3, Long, Long Time, didn’t break you (and quite frankly, in that case, are you actually dead inside?), this surely did.
And praise be, we then had The Mandalorian season 3 to fill that Pedro-shaped hole in our lives. A show in which, yet again, he somehow manages to make a monotone mercenary who literally does not remove his whole-head helmet, one of the most emotionally engaging and empathetic characters on TV right now. And once more truly perfecting his niche as our “cool, slutty daddy.” In fact, I don’t think I have ever felt as broody as I feel literally any time The Mandalorian interacts with Baby Yoda (aka Grogu for any pedants out there). [For my own wellbeing, I am not going to delve any further into the psychology of why that is. Let’s leave that stone unturned, k?]
But aside from giving us A-class performance after performance (Din Djarin, Joel Miller, Oberyn Martell, Javier Peña…) Pedro Pascal is also just one (incredibly sexy and well-dressed) good egg. Case in point: last year, he shut down a TMZ reporter’s intrusive and tokenistic questions about LGBTQ representation in the entertainment industry.
The Last of Us platformed various beautifully-told LGBTQ storylines, met with (sigh) a “mixed” response from some hideous corners of the internet. “What do you say to the people who don’t want to see the LGBT character love stories?” asked the aforementioned reporter. “They do!” he firmly responds.
And, when they continue to push, asking pointed questions about “why it’s so important that LGBTQ+ characters are on TV shows” he responds “you should know why.” He then went on to share a picture of the Pride flag on his Instagram account, captioning the post: “The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind. #LGBTQIA”.
In fact Pedro, whose younger sister came out as trans in 2021, is an outspoken ally of the LGBTQ community and regularly shuts down transphobia and homophobia on social media:
friendly reminder that pedro pascal’s favorite past time is fighting homophobes and transphobes pic.twitter.com/oTaC9jRsVY
— isa 🫐 (@jyndjarin) March 5, 2023
I honestly think the argument for Pedro Pascal's world domination is clear at this point. But, if you really need further convincing, I rest my case with this clip of him openly admitting he looks at fan accounts of himself to make himself feel better:
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