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From hidden gem to heartthrob zombie slayer: Profile on internet-stud Pedro Pascal

Pedro Pascal may be known for the work he's done in the past few years, but he's a lot more than "The Mandalorian." – Photo by @PopCrave / Twitter

The internet has officially found its new boyfriend: Pedro Pascal, star of HBO Max's latest hit show, "The Last of Us," and the Disney+ original Star Wars series, "The Mandalorian."

While Pascal has seemingly come out of nowhere and skyrocketed in popularity these past few months, he's been around the block and back again as an actor. He's done his fair share of regional theater work, had small roles on classic shows like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Law and Order" and later came into his own as a leading man on shows like "Narcos" and "Game of Thrones."

Originally from Santiago, Chile, Pascal's full name is Jose Pedro Balmaceda Pascal. While he originally went by the last name Balmaceda, he began using his mother's surname, "Pascal," shortly after her death as a tribute to her. He moved to the U.S. early in his life, with his family settling in San Antonio, Texas, before moving to Orange County, California. 

On his Chilean heritage, Pascal has talked about how his family was forced to leave his home country due to their opposition to the country's military regime at the time. But now, he's able to visit his family back home, who he says are extremely proud of him.

Pascal hasn't been shy about sharing his childhood hopes and dreams of becoming an actor, noting that he took his family's move to California as a step in jumpstarting his career. Eventually, Pascal graduated from both the Orange County School of the Arts and New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.

He most definitely paid his dues as an actor before reaching the level of acclaim he has today, and now more than ever, he's finding the spotlight he rightfully deserves.

Beyond talent and a resume full of excellent work to back him up, what makes Pascal so attractive to his fans is who he is as a person. He has a massive, and I mean a truly enormous, fanbase full of devoted spectators. He's the muse of fanart, fan accounts, edits and fan fiction. Both old fans and new fans alike recognize a genuine human being underneath Pascal's many characters and personas.

Pascal is also a proud activist, advocating for LGBTQ+ rights and showing public support for his sister Lux Pascal, who is transgender.

The actor's recent ascent into the public eye is largely due to his role as Joel Miller in HBO Max's adaptation of the viral video game, "The Last of Us." Pascal's ability to play Miller with simultaneous roughness and vulnerability is just one of the many stellar aspects of this show.

Miller's character is one that has gone through more trauma in two decades than many do in a lifetime, and Pascal takes on the weight of that suffering effortlessly. Pascal's chemistry with his co-star Bella Ramsey, who plays the role of Ellie, has also made fans fall even more in love with him.

Both on and off screen, Pascal and Ramsey display an astonishingly sweet father-daughter esque-relationship. His gentleness with them has affirmed what all fans have assumed from the start: Pascal is a real sweetheart.

Now more than ever, the internet has completely taken to everything Pascal. With a recent stint on "Saturday Night Live," which included a sketch referencing the number of fan edits made of him, and even presenting at the Oscars, Pascal is taking the world by storm.

Though it's a shame that Pascal found such massive fame only in middle age, it's likely that becoming famous later than usual is part of what's made him so kind and humble. While Hollywood may just be taking notice, there's no doubt that Pascal is a once-in-a-generation talent who is quickly becoming a household name.

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