Pedro Pascal became a household name in the same way people fall in love or go bankrupt: gradually, then suddenly. While the back-to-back success of “The Mandalorian” and “The Last of Us” turned him into one of 2023’s biggest stars, he spent much of the past decade gradually working his way through some of Hollywood’s most high profile franchises.
Before he joined “Star Wars,” there was “Game of Thrones.” Many fans were exposed to Pascal for the first time during his seven episode run as Oberyn Martell on the Westeros-set HBO series. But as the actor quickly learned, the show’s blockbuster status ensured that even its supporting players became recognizable faces.
During a recent appearance on The Hollywood Reporter’s Drama Actor Roundtable, Pascal recalled being surprised by how much fame his relatively small role on the show brought him — and the unexpected consequences of allowing fans to recreate his character’s gruesome death in selfies with him.
“I remember, earlier on, because of ‘Game of Thrones’ and the way my character died — speaking of touching — people were super into taking selfies with their thumbs in my eyes,” Pascal said. “And at first, I was so earnest and happy about the success of the character in the show, I’d let them! And then I remember getting a bit of an eye infection.”
This isn’t the first time that Pascal has poked fun at the darkly comedic side of his newfound celebrity status. He has frequently pointed out how awkward it feels when children ask him to bust out his “Mandalorian” voice, and he joked more generally about the surreal experience of meeting fans in his recent “Saturday Night Live” monologue.
“It’s an honor to be a part of these huge franchises like ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Star Wars,’ but I’m still getting used to people recognizing me,” he said. “The other day, some guy stopped me on the street and said ‘my son loves ‘The Mandalorian.’‘ And the next thing I know I’m FaceTiming with this six-year-old who has no idea who I am because my character wears a mask for the entire show.”