‘Mandalorian’ Star Pedro Pascal Explains Why He Accepted a Masked Role

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grogu and din djarin

Credit: Lucasfilm

On November 12, 2019, The Mandalorian Season 1, Episode 1 (“Chapter 1: The Mandalorian”) aired and set Star Wars fans on a trajectory they never expected — after years of divisive movies, all of sudden, Star Wars was incredible again. Pedro Pascal’s masked Din Djarin Mandalorian character quickly became the anti-hero audiences grew to love, even though we could not see his face.

Boba Fett with Din Djarin
Credit: Lucasfilm

Interestingly enough, Pascal’s stardom was on the rise before accepting his role in The Mandalorian. In Game of Thrones, he played Viper/Oberyn Martell and in the hit Netflix series Narcos, he played DEA agent Javier Peña. For someone who was on the rise, why did Pascal accept a role where his face would rarely be shown?

We already know that Pascal has no bitter feelings towards being masked as Din Djarin for the majority of the time, that is the way, of course. However, it is interesting to understand why the role was accepted in the first place, considering Pascal had no idea if The Mandalorian would become the success that we know it is today. Lucky for us, Indie Wire sat down — virtually — with Pascal and got some answers.

Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni wanted their leading Mandalorian to be athletic, and sexy — both attributes which Pascal possessed and successfully demonstrated in his past roles. Filoni stated, “He can be charming and intense. All this street cred for fighting, you believe that. The Mandalorian is not a man of many words. That’s part of his charm. What he says is more meaningful, as he gets fond of the kid.”

mandalorian trailer
Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm

For many actors, the idea of wearing a mask for the majority of their screentime would be a nightmare, but Pascal accepted the challenge after one meeting with Favreau.

“I just knew what Jon Favreau was capable of. If he was going to get involved in Star Wars then it would be the best version of that. How could you not? Every wall in the writers room was covered with these immaculate colorful illustrations of the entire first season. When you got to the end of the first episode you meet The Child. It disarmed me so completely. If it brought the effect of that on a mass scale, ‘Oh yeah! Bullseye.’”

And, for those of you who think that Pascal was the only actor in the Din Djarin beskar suit, you would be mistaken! Pascal commented on the teamwork it took to pull off Din, “four of us in that suit, with stunts. I relied on the years of physicality being on stage.” In fact, during the first season in particular, Pascal was rarely in the suit. He did much of his voice work in a sound studio!

Related: ‘Mandalorian’ Star Pedro Pascal Use ‘Bedroom Voice’ For Din Djarin

In The Mandalorian, we have, so far, been able to see Din Djarin remove his mask and allow others to see him three times. First, in front of droid IG-11 (Taika Waititi) — however since IG-11 is a droid and not a human, Din did not technically break the way of the Mandalore. In Season 2, Episode 7 (“Chapter 15: The Believer), we both see and hear the actor without his helmet for the first time with another human. Djarin finally decided to remove his helmet in order to obtain the coordinates and location of the Imperial ship where Din’s foundling, Grogu, was being held by Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito).

din djarin no mask pedro
Credit: Lucasfilm/Disney

Pascal did an incredible job of letting viewers see his reasoning behind taking off his ever-present helmet in the mind of the character. He stated, “it was almost impossible to imagine the level of nakedness and exposure, the overwhelming paralysis. It can’t happen, but it’s a mission and the child has to be saved. It was a super-exciting dance of profound, incredible restraint and total exposure. I can count on my one hand the lines the character had. On the other hand, he’s desperately trying to hide in a room without a mask with his face exposed. It was cool and it was strange.”

This one moment of helmet-less acting, although very little was said, showcased so many emotions and feelings radiating from Pascal’s face, only affirming Favreau and Filoni definitely made the right pick. 

Bill Burr Mandalorian
Credit: Lucasfilm

Considering Migs Mayfeld (Bill Burr) killed everyone who supposedly saw Djarin’s face, he was able to continue wearing his beskar helmet — furthermore, Djarin spent the second season learning that there just might be more than one way to be Mandalorian. Therefore, in Season 2, Episode 8, (“Chapter 16: The Rescue”) it is a shocking moment for those who see Din remove his helmet to allow Grogu (AKA The Child) see his face, and really emphasize the father-son bond that had been building for both seasons so far.

“At that point, I knew what it would mean for everyone to experience that kind of threshold between the character and the child. We follow this story for two seasons; there’s this bond that grows between the two of them. He tries to not let himself soften, but he cannot help himself. This practical story logic brought something else about that moment, what it would mean to touch his face.” 

Now that everyone has seen Din remove his mask, some Mandalorian fans may wonder if Season 3 will provide more helmet-less scenes. To that, Pascal noted, “as much as he says this is the way, that doesn’t mean this is the only way. I find it fascinating playing with that. We don’t know what he ends up being. He took his helmet off in a room full of people.”

It seems that Pascal is currently aware of the developing storyline for Season 3 of The Mandalorian, as well as possible cameos of his character in spinoff series such as Star Wars: Rangers of the New Republic (speculated to star Gina Carano’s Cara Dune), Ahsoka (Starring Rosario Dawson in the title role), and The Book of Boba Fett which will follow Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) and Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen).

Related: George Lucas Reportedly “Heavily Involved” in ‘Mandalorian’ Season 3

The Mandalorian
Credit: Lucasfilm

Although Season 3 of The Mandalorian was not announced on the Disney+ 2021 release schedule, we know that Din has some unfinished business to tend to. After we see Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), Cara Dune (Gina Carano), Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison), Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), and her Nite Owl warrior Koska Reeves (Mercedes Varnado) defeat Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), rescuing Grogu from the Imperial ship — another problem arises with the Darksaber.

Now, many viewers may be wondering who is going to be titled the true ruler of New Mandalore. Considering one of Bo-Katan’s requests for helping Din rescue Grogu was to earn back the Darksaber — and, as a result, title as leader of Mandalore — we were left with Din unable to hold up his side of the bargain as he had to win the Darksaber from Gideon in battle in order to save his child.

the mandalorian and baby yoda
Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm

You can also watch Pascal at the DC villain Maxwell Lord in Wonder Woman 1984 alongside Gal Gadot.

Stay tuned to ITM as we continue to give you all of the news regarding The Mandalorian Season 3!

Would you have accepted the role of Din Djarin if it meant acting under a helmet? Let us know if you think Pascal made the right choice!

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