Over the course of The Mandalorian, Pedro Pascal's titular hero gets to run the action-adventure gamut, from hand-to-hand combat to blaster fights to spaceship mayhem and everything in between. The character is a bit of a mix of various Star Wars protagonists from years past, as well as another icon from George Lucas and Steven Spielberg's cinematic collaborations, Indiana Jones. To that end, filmmaker and Mandalorian episode director Robert Rodriguez has shared his thoughts about why Pascal reminds him of Han Solo himself, O.G. Star Wars actor Harrison Ford.
Though Robert Rodriguez is more known for his work on films such as Alita: Battle Angel, the Machete films and the Spy Kids movies, he lent his talents to The Mandalorian for the action-packed Chapter 14, "The Tragedy." While that installment was more focused on the big returns of Temuera Morrison's Boba Fett and Ming-Na Wen's Fennec Shand, Rodriguez talked with Den of Geek more about working with Pedro Pascal, who is also in the director's new film We Can Be Heroes. Here's how he compared Pascal to fellow Star Wars alum Harrison Ford.
He reminds me of Harrison Ford in a way, he’s like this everyman type guy. He can be funny, he can be really intense, he can be very heroic, but in We Can Be Heroes he kind of has to be a dweebish dad where it’s just all about him and his daughter. He played that really well and was then also able to become this superhero. He can be very human and warm. In The Mandalorian he does a similar type of thing but with that heart. But he can play intense too. He’s got a wide range.
Robert Rodriguez is right on the money with that assessment, too, since Pedro Pascal is basically capable of taking on any kind of role that's thrown at him. Even though he doesn't get to play the most expressive character behind his all-important mask on The Mandalorian, Pascal's voice work alone is usually pitch-perfect on both a dramatic level and on a wry humor level, which is definitely on Ford's level. Pascal is excellent at portraying a put-upon badass, and while his character automatically tends to clam up whenever the helmet comes off, he gives those moments weight by appearing extremely uncomfortable. And who knows more about appearing uncomfortable, both on camera and in Star Wars interviews, than Harrison Ford? [Insert GIF of amused Chewbacca.]
Beyond The Mandalorian, Pedro Pascal is probably best known for the highly intense crime drama Narcos, as well as his limited-but-lasting arc on Game of Thrones as The Viper. And he'll soon be seen in Wonder Woman 1984 as the villainous Maxwell Lord. But despite these projects all being on the more serious front, Pascal maintains an eye-catching charisma and a sense of potential mischief. It's unfortunate that he hasn't been utilized for full-blown comedies at this point, since even his input for the Community reunion table-read was perfecto.
In that sense, Pedro Pascal is like another mega-famous actor that Robert Rodriguez has worked with a couple of times in his career. Here's how he put it:
He reminds me of some of my favorite actors that I have worked with before like George Clooney. That’s why he’s got such a big career right now. People can see that he’s very much able to do 180 degrees in any direction.
Robert Rodriguez first worked with George Clooney on one of the most gloriously vile vampire movies ever, From Dusk Till Dawn, which was a shock for audiences used to his stoic performances on ER. And then there was that Nespresso ad/short, in which John Malkovich played God, so that was obviously perfect. If only we could now get another FDTD sequel starring both Clooney and Pedro Pascal. Or if only Clooney would join The Mandalorian. I'd take either.
Robert Rodriguez isn't done with the Star Wars universe yet, either, as he'll be serving as an executive producer (and maybe more) on the upcoming spinoff series The Book of Boba Fett. While waiting to hear more about that project, don't forget to check out We Can Be Heroes when it hits Netflix on Friday, December 25, at 3:01 a.m. ET. Head to our Winter and Spring 2021 TV premiere schedule to see what new and returning shows are popping up when the new year arrives.