Actor Pedro Pascal, most famous for his roles in Netflix’s “Narcos,” Disney’s “The Mandalorian,” and HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” just appeared for an interview with Variety. During the interview, he attacked people who “get so butthurt” about famous characters being recast as different races and genders in remakes of films.
That issue has risen to prominence in the culture war thanks to recent movies like “The Little Mermaid,” in which Disney recast the main character from a Danish fairy tale as black instead of white, which makes little sense in the context of the tale’s origin. Similarly, Netflix’s documentary about Cleopatra in which she was black angered many; the Egyptians were mad enough to sue. Similarly, Bridgerton purports to be a historical drama/fiction-romance, but it inaccurately casts black actors in the early-1800s London setting.
Pascal’s comments on the matter came when the interviewer asked him about how his ethnic identity ties into the roles he plays, asking, “Do you feel that wave coming, that you can just be Pedro Pascal, an actor, versus ‘Pedro Pascal the Latino guy that we have for Latino roles’ – and we love you on Narcos and everything like that – but do you feel that change right now?”
Responding, Pascal first said that it is “really important” to increase “representation” by swapping the characters, saying, “I think that the change is really important and that the best way to continue representation is exactly as you put it.” Pascal then added that the entertainment industry should start “just casting a person into a role” instead of “limiting” each “character to its racial identity.”
Continuing, Pascal insisted that doing so is “the coolest” because it’s effective at “moving the needle,” saying, “Especially if it’s an IP that we’re familiar with or a book. And people get so butthurt about this kind of stuff, but who cares? Because that is the coolest way of moving the needle, is being open about the casting in every way.”
Pascal then added that doing so should be about telling the story, not “fulfilling a political frustration,” saying, “Instead of being like ‘these are the instructions, this is how we need to follow it… let’s label what representation is and follow those…’ No, I think that we need to continue discovering it and making sure that we understand that representation is in service of telling the story instead of fulfilling a political frustration, which is totally legit also.”
Despite that worry about political wants taking over, Pascal went on to say that they need to keep navigating the issue so that “the needle does move” and the movie industry is changed, telling Variety, “It’s a very interesting thing to navigate, and I think that it deserves all the attention in the world so that we do navigate it, and that the needle does move, and that things do kind of like change.”
Watch Pascal in the interview here:
Featured image credit: screengrab from the embedded YouTube video of Pascal’s interview with Variety
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