Pedro Pascal revealed his ‘psychotic’ trick for learning lines: ‘Basically I’m the Unabomber’

Pedro Pascal reveals line-learning technique during SAG-AFTRA interview

Pedro Pascal has just revealed his trick for learning lines for acting gigs, and it is, in his own words, “psychotic”.

The The Last Of Us star is booked an busy these days, between filming season two of the hit HBO series and starring in Marvel’s The Fantastic Four. It’s a lot of work for the internet’s “daddy”, so naturally, he uses a special learning technique to help him along.

Unfortunately, at first glance, it does make him look like a Sherlock Holmes villain or a possible Zodiac Killer suspect.

Pedro Pascal reveals line-learning technique during SAG-AFTRA interview
Pedro Pascal’s fellow interviewees were shocked when he showed them his line-learning technique. (Screenshot: YouTube/SAG-AFTRA)

Pascal revealed his bizarre methods during a Zoom interview with his fellow SAG Award Nominees for Outstanding Performance by Male Actor in a Drama Series Billy Crudup (The Morning Show), Matthew Macfadyen (Succession), and Kieran Culkin (Succession).

As part of the interview, released by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation over the weekend, the nominees were asked about their line-learning techniques. 

After Kieran Culkin gave a relatively normal answer about getting into the flow of the scene before completely learning his lines word-for-word, Pascal revealed his unusual method.

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“If I could find and show you the psychotic example, this physical example that I now have to do to learn my lines…” he began, searching around on his desk.

When the Narcos star whipped out a stack of pages covered in cryptic, organised columns of letters, Culkin raised his eyebrows and asked: “What have you got there, Pedro?”

Pedro Pascal reveals line-learning technique during SAG-AFTRA interview
Pedro admitted his technique does look a little bit “psychotic”. (Screenshot: YouTube/SAG-AFTRA)

Pascal revealed that, when he is tasked with learning a hefty script, he takes the first letter of every single word and writes it down in a column. He then uses the stacks and stacks of letters as a cipher to help him learn off his lines without looking at the script itself.

Trying to explain the method to his madness, he told his fellow actors: “So, this is like the first letter of every [word].

“So, you just see a bunch of letters, right? So, basically, I’m the Unabomber. You just use the first letter of each word and in kind of these sort of like towers, these, like, columns, I guess. It’s this very, very tedious way of making yourself learn the lines.

“If you’re in a scramble, trying to learn text really quickly… it’s this kind of technical way, I guess, that I’ve had to acquire because of that horrible experience of forgetting your lines.”

Once you understand what Pascal is trying to do, his pages and pages of letters make a lot more sense. It’s actually quite a common mnemonic device to help with memorisation.

But, viewers agree that, at first glance, it certainly looks a little threatening.

Pedro Pascal reveals line-learning technique during SAG-AFTRA interview
If you see Pedro Pascal writing an incoherent stream of letters and symbols, do not be alarmed. (Screenshot: YouTube/SAG-AFTRA)

“Is anyone else getting zodiac cipher vibes? What the hell, baby, what is that?,” asked one viewer on X (formerly Twitter).

“Is Pedro the Zodiac Killer?” teased another.

Getting in on the joke, a third asked: “Pedro, where were you on December 20th, 1968?” referring to the date that the Zodiac Killer murdered teenagers Betty Lou Jenson and David Faraday.

Others were less terrified and more satisfied, deciding that Pedro’s crazy notes affirmed him as the perfect Reed Richards (aka Mr Fantastic) ahead of his upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe debut.

“He’s really Reed Richards,” tweeted one fan.

“I see Reed Richards all over this man, he’ll do amazing,” agreed a second.

A third even suggested: “Imagine if Pedro just flashed the Fantastic Four script and none of us can decipher it.”

If you’re unfamiliar with The Fantastic Four lore, Reed Richards is one of the smartest beings in the universe – sometimes to his detriment. Yes, he can stretch and mold his body thanks to a radiation mutation, but he’s also a master of all the sciences and is essentially a human supercomputer.

MCU fans agree that Pascal’s intimidating line learning system has already given them their first glimpse at a perfect Reed Richards.The Fantastic Four is scheduled to hit theatres on 25 July, 2025.