First of all, let’s get this out of the way: Right now Pedro Pascal is in, quite possibly, the most popular series, The Mandalorian. He’s about to be in the movie event of the month, Wonder Woman 1984, which will begin streaming on HBO Max on December 25. The only thing missing is a hit song, which when you consider what year his new movie takes place in, when movie soundtracks were king, it doesn’t seem too entirely far fetched. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be, but, as Maxwell Lord, Pascal does sport a pretty nifty Simon Le Bon looking hairdo. (As we went down a rabbit hole of ’80s references that you’ll read ahead, it turns out Pascal was a pretty big Duran Duran fan. At least, big enough that he owned a Duran Duran clock.)
Pascal doesn’t really hide the fact that in Wonder Woman 1984 he’s going for it. He literally uses the phrase “hamming it up.” And it really is a sight to behold in a, well, this is how you do it kind of way. In the comics, Maxwell Lord has a pretty eventful and complicated history, but in Wonder Woman 1984 he’s playing a businessman who might just be in a little more financial trouble than he’s letting on. But fate might be on his side when he sees an opportunity, and it’s up to Wonder Woman to stop him. Also, the marketing for the film kind of downplays Pascal’s role in the film, but he’s in it a lot and is the the main antagonist of the film.
Ahead, a pretty hilariously salty Pedro Pascal takes us through his remarkable Wonder Woman 1984 performance. Also, as we saw in this season of The Mandalorian, our hero’s starship, the Razor Crest, was destroyed. For those of you who paid a lot of money for Razor Crest memorabilia, I asked if we could send him the bill for our refunds.
So… holy shit!
What? Oh I’m sorry. You’re disappointed.
That’s a very enthusiastic “holy shit!” for your performance.
Oh my God.
You were going for it.
That’s Patty, man. That’s the Patty Jenkins experience! You can’t get away with anything else. You know? I think if anyone likes it, sees it, and appreciates it, then I owe it all to her. And if anyone finds it absolutely intolerable, I also owe it to her.
So right now you’re on the most popular series. You’re in the biggest movie event of the month. You need a hit song for the trifecta.
What should that song be?
Well, the movie is set in 1984…
Something from 1984? The best album of all time is from 1984.
Oh, yes. See, Wonder Woman 1984 should go full retro and have a soundtrack like movies of that era did. Like Footloose, Purple Rain, Eddie and the Cruisers.
Eddie and the Cruisers. Wow. I saw it in the movie theater.
Is that the first Eddie and the Cruisers reference that’s come up for you today?
The first Eddie and the Cruisers reference that’s come up this year.
So you saw Eddie and the Cruisers in theaters?
I saw it in the movie theater.
Did you see the sequel, Eddie Lives!, in the movie theater?
That one wasn’t as big a hit.
No, it wasn’t.
Speaking of music from that era, your hair in this movie, you know who it reminded me of?
Simon Le Bon.
Oh, wow! Oh, well, that’s a compliment.
He had great hair.
I had a Duran Duran vinyl record clock in my bedroom as a child.
Was this in support of a specific album?
It was Rio, but it wasn’t an album cover. It was just an actual record with the band and it said Duran Duran and it told the time.
What else could you want? You get to see the band and you know what time it is?
I had Duran Duran, and my sister had Cyndi Lauper. That’s all I can remember.
Well, I think you had a really good Simon Le Bon haircut going.
Wow. That’s very, very, very, very not what I expected.
Between that and Eddie and the Cruisers I’m really keeping you on your toes here.
You really are, you’re there with me. How old are you?
We are around the same age…
Oh, okay. No wonder you’re hitting such bull’s eyes.
We have the same reference points.
Keep going, man. I’m telling you, I was a sponge.
You are hamming it up in this movie.
Yeah, we were doing a big swing.
You’ve been saying Nicolas Cage was an inspiration at certain times. Is there a specific movie?
Yeah, I don’t relate any of the hamming it up to Nicolas Cage. I at one point in the conversation I was talking about what an incredible influence he was on me as an actor, which is true. And, now, so much so that I would use him as a sort of point of reference to anchor myself, to achieve something in a scene specifically with Wonder Woman, And maybe about a half-hour later in that conversation, I was self-deprecating and accusing myself of “shmacting” and hamming it up, and the two do not go together.
Oh, I see.
So, just to clarify.
I was hoping you were going to say Peggy Sue Got Married.
Dude! In the movie theater, man.
I did, too. My parents took me.
I also own it. It’s also accessible on my iPad. It’s one of my favorite movies.
Francis Ford Coppola. Yeah. It’s an amazing movie. I just watched it again.
Cage came early for me. Rumble Fish. Racing With The Moon, Valley Girl. And then Peggy Sue Got Married, Moonstruck, Vampire’s Kiss, Raising Arizona.
Again, watching you play Maxwell Lord, I just kept thinking, well, this is how you play a villain like this.
Oh my God. Who are you? You’re my new best friend.
It’s like you decided, “Oh, I don’t have to wear a helmet through this entire movie. Well, watch out world. Here I come.”
Well, I did it before I put the helmet on.
Well, you knew that you had to do it before you went into the helmet then. You had to leave an impression.
Right, right, exactly. I was like, “Whoa, what have I done here? I better put a helmet on. People are going to be really tired of this face.”
So you were a section over from me at The Rise of Skywalker premiere a year ago…
The reason I know this is because you were holding court. You were standing up, you had everyone around you, having the time of your life. I bring this up because I feel if Wonder Woman 1984 had a proper premiere you would have done some sort of stunt.
Yeah. But I think that the context to everything is it’s overwhelming for all, and I guess the hope behind it all is that people are going to be able to see it.
I think it’s a really good time to see it. And my heart’s been broken at the thought of not being able to kind of share this because of the kind of experience that it was for me. I had the time of my life, and it wasn’t just because I had a delicious part to play and one of the best directors I’ve ever worked with. But the best cast, and it really was one of the best experiences of my life. And if there was a chance that that could be shared, translated in any way, and that people could actually experience what felt so special to me, I wanted that to happen on as big of a scale as possible and be there for all of it and see it on the big screen. But, this is the world that we’re living in now. And we’ve got to find so many different ways to survive, and one way is to give people some fucking relief. Even if it’s just for a couple of hours.
So I’m in New York and it’s getting cold and my winter project was this expensive Razor Crest LEGO Set. So, I watched the episode of The Mandalorian where it gets blown up. Do I send my bill to you to get a refund? Who do I send this to?
I saw the best meme. Is that what they’re called? Meme?
This one doesn’t move, it’s just a picture. It was a spear and a module. And it was Razor Crest parts, the new LEGO Set for the range of customers. I thought that was hilarious.
Well, I’m going to send you my bill, if that’s okay.
You can send it. Yeah, definitely, talk to Warner Bros.
I will, I’m sure they’ll be thrilled to pass that along.
They have my name. They have my address.
‘Wonder Woman 1984’ will be in theaters and on HBO Max on December 25th. You can contact Mike Ryan directly on Twitter.