Icons / October 2016

The New American Prince: Pedro Pascal

In an exclusive interview with The Rake, Pedro Pascal discusses the American Dream, second chances and his role in the Netflix hit series Narcos.

Brown wool double-breasted suit and chocolate-brown leather Oxford shoes, Ralph Lauren Purple Label; grey cotton striped shirt, Ermenegildo Zegna Couture; oatmeal and blue vintage printed tie, Rubinacci for The Rake; stainless steel Royal Oak timepiece, Audemars Piguet. Copper cotton Liberty print pocket-handkerchief, property of The Rake.

As stickler for timing, it was a tad disconcerting for me that half an hour into an hour-long interview, Pedro Pascal was still barely a year old. The family history of this actor is a story in itself, one that Pedro intends to write one day. Happily, Pedro was very generous with his time, and, as with our photoshoot at The Carlyle Hotel in New York, and with every role he has played, he understands the difference between a hash-job and a job well done. Perhaps this is why Pedro will be on screen pretty much non-stop for the next year and is fast building an enviable C.V.

His roles as a protagonist span big-budget Hollywood movies and the finer works of subscription television, namely Game of Thrones and Narcos, whose second series is currently available on Netflix. It turns out he is also the epitome of America: an immigrant who has taken his talent and ambition and made a success of himself in a country that takes people in and gives them a chance to succeed. And The Rake was given the opportunity of an in-depth discussion with this star player.

I should firstly elaborate on the extraordinary tale of his early life. His family name is Balmaceda, his father is a doctor, and his late mother (whose maiden name was Pascal) welcomed José Pedro Balmaceda Pascal into the world on April 2, 1975 in Santiago, Chile. Those of you familiar with the South American governments of the time will know that this was not a simple epoch in which to be born in Chile. It was less than two years since Augusto Pinochet had deposed Salvador Allende, the first democratically elected head of state in Chile, in a coup d’état. Allende killed himself in the coup but his supporters remained a thorn in the junta’s side. So, as any self-respecting dictator would, Pinochet found opposition members, rounded them up, and tortured them for information on other dissenters who could be found, rounded up, and so on.

One such occasion was some years later, when our cover star enters the fray. A cousin of Pascal’s mother was Andrés Pascal Allende, a powerful revolutionary and supporter of his uncle. One day, during a gunfight, this freedom fighter would be given medical aid and shelter chez Balmaceda, and it would be this gesture that put the family on the ‘list’.

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Tom Chamberlin

Editor of The Rake Magazine