Pedro Pascal excited to step into ‘playful sexiness’ of new queer western Strange Way of Life

Pedro Pascal in a still from new short film Strange Way of Life.

The wait for Pedro Pascal’s new queer western Strange Way of Life is nearly over – and its stars are teasing some “very erotic” scenes. 

Ever since Pedro Almodóvar’s short film was announced last year, the cast and crew have been throwing out hints at how the queer plot will play out.

What fans do know is that The Last of Us star Pascal plays a former gunslinger named Silva, while Dead Poet’s Society‘s actor Ethan Hawke is a sheriff called Jake. The pair reunite after 25 years apart, with viewers soon learning that the history between the two extends far beyond being just good friends. 

Ahead of the film’s premiere at the Cannes Film Festival today (17 May), director Almodóvar has revealed more about the sexual relationship between Pascal and Hawke’s characters, and talked about how he approached the “physical nakedness” in the 30-minute feature.

“The film is full of these moments that are erotic without being explicit sexually or having to do with any kind of physical nakedness,” Almodóvar told Indiewire, before adding: “There’s a certain intensity, these pauses, that are very erotic and carnal for me.”

While Almodóvar has previously referred to the film as his answer to Brokeback Mountain, which he was once asked to direct, he has now shed further light on the link between two, highlighting that it’s not about sex.

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“It had more to do with a question asked in that film, regarding what two men would do on a ranch together,” he said, explaining that he sees Strange Way of Life as “a kind of answer to that question”.

Those expecting to see as many sex scenes as possible in a short space of time, might be disappointed to hear that it’s not all about physical intimacy. But The Mandalorian star Pascal has offered reassurance that there’s still a “playful sexiness” to enjoy.

“I don’t imagine sexual chemistry as something to approach,” he told IndieWire. “It’s simply a matter of playing the character. Pedro put his trust in us to inhabit the story as he felt so much of the work was accomplished by casting.

New look at Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke in Strange Way of Life.
Pedro Pascal (l) and Ethan Hawke in Strange Way of Life. (Sony Pictures)

“I think there’s a disarming and playful sexiness to everything Pedro does.”

Early reviews from industry insiders suggest that viewers will see “tender moments” and “sexual tension” – including a “fleeting shot of Pascal’s butt”.

Pascal went on: “It’s exciting to step into that world. It also helped to have a scene partner as good as Ethan.”

Fans have already been treated to the “camp homo realness” of the film’s promo poster, the very tender trailer and a few behind-the-scenes stills.

It’s a lot of content for what is a relatively short film, but if there’s one thing the past six months or so have shown, it’s that the gays will queue for anything Pedro Pascal lays his hands on.

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