Pedro Pascal has absolutely no time for critics who get ‘butt hurt’ over blind casting in Hollywood

Pedro Pascal

Internet darling and ‘Daddy’ Pedro Pascal has blasted critics for ridiculing blind casting in Hollywood.

Aside from roles in Disney’s Mandalorian and weird queer Western Strange Way of Life (dubbed “Brokeback Mountain with DILFs”), Pedro Pascal’s popularity with fans across the globe undoubtedly skyrocketed at the start of 2023 with his star turn in HBO’s hit series The Last of Us.

Adapted by HBO from the acclaimed 2013 video game of the same name, the devastating tale of sacrifice and survival followed Pascal and Bella Ramsey as hardened smuggler Joel Miller and sparky heroine Ellie Williams on a quest to save humanity across a post-apocalyptic United States.

The series was critically and commercially praised – particularly its third episode, which contained an unexpected but groundbreaking queer love story that beautifully expanded on a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it piece of lore from the video game.

But that wasn’t the only liberty that the show’s co-creators, Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann, took when adapting The Last of Us into a powerhouse piece of television.

Screenshot from The Last of Us showing characters Bill and Frank together
Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett) in The Last of Us. (HBO)

In the Naughty Dog-created game, protagonist Joel and brother Tommy were both Caucasian characters. However, Pascal is of Chilean descent and Gabriel Luna, who portrays Tommy in HBO’s adaptation, hails from Mexico.

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Now, Pascal himself, trans ally-in-chief and slutty knee connoisseur, has a message for those that may have been upset at this alteration.

“I think that the change is really important and that the best way to continue representation is just casting a person into a role that isn’t limiting a character to racial identity,” Pascal told Variety.

“Especially if it’s an IP we’re familiar with or a book. People get so butt hurt about this kind of stuff, but who cares? Because that’s the coolest way of moving the needle is being open about the casting in every way.”

‘Blind casting’, as Pascal mentioned, is the practice of casting roles without considering an actor’s ethnicity or race. Popularised hugely by Netflix’s Regency era smash-hit Bridgerton, it is often hailed as a huge win for representation in TV and film.

The practice allows actors of colour to appear in projects that, through systematic fault, wouldn’t have considered them for roles.

Pascal then said that in accepting a role, his only concern is wanting “to be able to fulfil the assignment and continue to fulfil the assignment”.

“It’s not necessarily about getting an ‘A’ but understanding someone’s vision and being a scene partner for somebody. If it comes to inspiring somebody else … maybe that’s the component I’m unwilling to recognise. It can make my heart explode a little bit.”

Pedro Pascal’s upcoming projects include an LGBTQ+ road-trip comedy, Drive-Away Dolls, which will see him in an as-yet-undisclosed role, though many have stated that he will slip quite easily into another ‘protector of lesbians’ character.

Drive-Away Dolls, meanwhile, looks likely to premiere at one of the autumn’s big festivals, ahead of its wider release on 22 September 2023. 

The full Variety interview is available to watch now.