“It is amazing to be here,” said Pedro Pascal in his first “Saturday Night Live” performance: a triumphant Season 48 episode for the sketch show, cross-promoting the actor/host’s hugely successful parts on Disney’s “The Mandalorian” and HBO’s “The Last of Us.”
“I was born in Chile and nine months later my parents fled Pinochet with me and my sister to the US,” Pascal continued in his opening monologue. “They were so brave, and without them I wouldn’t be here in this wonderful country. And I certainly wouldn’t be standing here with you all tonight.”
The 48-year-old actor began performing on screen in the late ’90s, appearing in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “NYPD Blue” among other popular TV series of the time. Pascal made his feature film debut in Julia Solomonoff’s “Hermanas” in 2005, and would later appear in “The Adjustment Bureau,” “Sweet Little Lies,” “Bloodsucking Bastards,” and more.
Pascal wouldn’t fully begin his rise to fame until landing the role of Oberyn Martell on “Game of Thrones” in 2014. The antagonistic Red Viper of Dorne saw Pascal charm, seduce, and battle his way through seven episodes before going out in a head-bursting blaze of glory as infamous now as it was spectacular then. Not long after, Pascal would join the cast of Netflix’s “Narcos” as Javier Peña: a real DEA agent who investigated the cartel of Colombian kingpin Pablo Escobar.
Around that time on the big screen, Pascal had parts in “The Great Wall,” “Kingsman: The Golden Circle,” “The Equalizer 2,” and two-time Oscar nominee “If Beale Street Could Talk.” In 2019, he’d join his biggest property to date as “The Mandalorian” in a first-ever Star Wars series for Disney+. Pascal became part of the DCEU as a villain in “Wonder Woman: 1984” the following year.
“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,” Pascal said on SNL. “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.”
From “The Last of Us” to “Triple Frontier,” these 10 movie and TV performances are some of Pedro Pascal’s best. Titles are ranked not by overall quality, but by the value — or, in the case of No. 10 “Buffy” — novelty of Pascal’s performances in them.
With editorial contributions by Sarah Shachat, Samantha Bergeson, and Christian Zilko.