Pedro Pascal reveals the “psychotic” method he uses to learn his lines, and it's pretty strange to say the least

Pedro Pascal as Joel in HBO's The Last of Us
(Image credit: HBO)

The Last of Us star Pedro Pascal is known for being a little quirky at times, but the way he learns his lines has got to be the most unhinged thing about him so far. 

In a recent fundraiser for the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, Pascal revealed that he memorizes his lines by writing down the first letter of each word in a sentence, kind of like a ransom note or what you would see from the illusive serial killer in Zodiac. Pascal found a physical example of his handy work and showed the interviewer a page from his notebook filled with letters and dashes in columns. 

"This is like a psycho, first letter of every word. You see the letters, right? Basically, I'm the Unabomber," Pascal jokes in the video, whilst trying to explain his unconventional learning methods to three other actors. "You use the first letter of each in these towers or columns, I guess, and it's this very, very tedious way of making yourself learn the line so that you're not making choices. It's not even sort of artistic, it's just this really technical way I've had to acquire because of that terrible experience of forgetting my lines."

As unconventional as his methods may be, the internet is loving Pascal’s humor and candidness. “Pedro, where were you on December 20th, 1968?” jokes one Twitter user whilst another added, “Just pointing out that this is exactly how Reed Richards would memorize lines as well,” in reference to Pascal’s upcoming role as Richards, A.K.A. Mister Fantastic, in Marvel’s Fantastic Four

As part of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Conversations series, Pascal was interviewed alongside his fellow nominees for the SAG Awards 2024’s Outstanding Performance by Male Actor in a Drama Series, including The Morning Show’s Billy Crudup, and Succession’s Matthew Macfadyen and Kieran Culkin. Macfayden went on to share that his co-star Culkin learns his lines inhumanly fast, in the sense that he can read the script and absorb the words almost immediately. 

We will see Pascal next in HBO’s post-apocalyptic drama The Last of Us season 2 where he reprises his role as Joel Miller. 

For more, check out our list of upcoming movies and upcoming TV shows heading your way in 2024 and beyond. 

Editorial Associate, GamesRadar+

I am an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for SFX and Total Film online. I have a Bachelors Degree in Media Production and Journalism and a Masters in Fashion Journalism from UAL. In the past I have written for local UK and US newspaper outlets such as the Portland Tribune and York Mix and worked in communications, before focusing on film and entertainment writing. I am a HUGE horror fan and in 2022 I created my very own single issue feminist horror magazine.