Sarah Paulson, a long-time friend of Pedro Pascal, used her acting money to help him purchase food.
While it’s not exactly uncommon for big-name actors to make it into the business because of family connections, The Mandalorian actor Pedro Pascal came from humbler origins. As the son of Argentinian revolutionaries, Pascal’s parents fled the country, received asylum in Denmark, then moved to the U.S. Pascal pursued a career in acting, but according to an article published in Esquire, things were so tough around the turn of the millennium that American Horror Story actress Sarah Paulson gave him her per diem money from a job so that he could feed himself.
Pedro Pascal was hardly a household name back then — his biggest credits at the time were single-episode appearances in NYPD Blue, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Touched by an Angel. The other shows he had brief appearances in — the sci-fi comedy Good vs. Evil, the sex-centric comedy series Undressed, and the animated comedy series Downtown — are obscure to the point of almost being forgotten. Sarah Paulson, meanwhile, had a recurring role in the sitcom Jack & Jill, along with appearances in the films What Women Want and The Other Sister.
According to the article, Pedro Pascal met Sarah Paulson when they attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and they would regularly see movies together while attending college. After graduating, Pascal struggled to find work. He said that he was always close to landing an acting job, but the directors always seemed to go with the other guy.
“I guess that, and this delusional self-determination, and no real skill at anything else, is what kept me going,” Pascal told Esquire.
Sarah Paulson, meanwhile, had been landing acting gigs since graduating from high school, appearing on an episode of Law & Order in 1994 and the 1995 Hallmark film Friends at Last. She starred in her first feature film — the independently-produced thriller Levitation — in 1997, a time when Pedro Pascal had only been able to appear in two short films by little-known directors. Pascal was worried that he’d never make it as an actor.
“I died so many deaths. My vision of it was that if I didn’t have some major exposure by the time I was twenty-nine years old, it was over, so I was constantly readjusting what it meant to commit my life to this profession, and giving up the idea of it looking like I thought it would when I was a kid. There were so many good reasons to let that delusion go.”-Pedro Pascal
Now, of course, it’s clear that Pedro Pascal has what it takes to make it. After gaining attention for his role of Oberyn Martell in Game of Thrones, Pascal got more and more work. The star of both The Last of Us and The Mandalorian, Pascal is in the rare position of heading two enormously-successful series at the same time — all at the ripe young age of 48.
With fame comes fans, of course — some of whom get way too obsessed with the details of his life, as seen by the TikTokkers who scrutinized his Starbucks order by zooming into the printout on his cup. It also comes with guest appearances, as seen in the hilarious Saturday Night Live episode with him as the host. It’s easy to say that, despite the fact that Sarah Paulson’s career is still flourishing, Pascal is the bigger star at the moment.
Sarah Paulson is far from jealous of her longtime friend’s success. She’s ecstatic. In the interview, she said that Pedro Pascal has the makings of a movie star — and that Hollywood producers should take notice.
“You just want him to succeed,” Paulson told Esquire. “And that to me, I feel like, is the sign of a major movie star. I’m ready for him to take the reins from the guys from romantic comedies past, like Bruce Willis and Mel Gibson and all these guys. He can be all that. Let’s remake Die Hard with Pedro. Remake all the Lethal Weapon movies with Pedro.”