Pedro Pascal is set to appear on our screens again in The Mandalorian season 2 later this month, but most of us probably first knew of him as Oberyn Martell in Game of Thrones. In an interview with Variety (opens in new tab), one of the Game of Thrones showrunners, David Benioff, shared that Pascal filmed his audition for Oberyn on an iPhone:
“First of all, it was an iPhone selfie audition, which was unusual," Benioff said. "And this wasn’t one of the new-fangled iPhones with the fancy cameras. It looked like shit; it was shot vertical; the whole thing was very amateurish. Except for the performance, which was intense and believable and just right.”
Benioff added that Pascal’s talent and potential as a major star was obvious to him after he saw him in action. “Once we saw the entire season there was no doubt Pedro was going to be a star," he said. "I thought he deserved more recognition, frankly. Was he nominated for any awards? He should have been. But Dan and I were thrilled that we gave Pedro a job that helped his ascent, because he’s an absolute gem of an actor and a man.”
Pascal did in fact win two Gold Derby Awards for his work on Game of Thrones – one in 2019 for Best Drama Guest Actor of the last ten years at the Gold Derby TV Decade Awards, and one in 2014 for Best Drama Guest Actor. However – spoiler incoming – Benioff also admitted that not even Pascal’s excellent performance was enough to potentially save Oberyn from his grisly fate:
“I mean, we love Pedro. And we loved that character," he said. "But his death at the hands of the Mountain was one of our favorite brutal killings from George’s books (which feature a few thousand brutal killings, so that’s saying something). Part of the reason people remember Oberyn is because he died so horribly. And if we hadn’t killed him, poor Pedro never could have done Narcos. So, it worked out. Not for Oberyn. But for the rest of us.”
As much as we loved Oberyn, we have to agree that seeing him go worked out for the best in terms of Pascal’s career. The actor is back in season 2 of The Mandalorian, which releases October 30 2020. You can check out our guide to streaming The Mandalorian here.