If you’ve spent any time on the internet over the past two months, you’ve probably come across Pedro Pascal fancams or thirst edits – ranging from tweets calling The last of us star “daddy” to TikToks using an audio clip of Shaggy’s “Hey Sexy Lady” to punctuate fans’ thirsty edits. Or maybe you saw the 47-year-old Chilean-American actor appear in an ad for the eccentric game Merge mansion and wondered how he got there.
Be that as it may, here’s an account of why Pascal has been all over the internet lately — and how the fixation on his identity as an “Internet dad” has spiraled out of control.
Why did Pedro Pascal suddenly become popular?
Although Pedro Pascal has been a starring actor for years – with credits that span Game of Thrones, The mandolin, And Narcos — his role as Joel in the HBO Max adaptation The last of us has ushered in his meteoric rise both in the public eye and in the eyes of thirsty fans.
The thirst for Pascal had already surfaced in early 2023. In January, on the red carpet, an Entertainment Tonight reporter asked him, “You know you’re the father of the internet, right?” before showing him a tweet a fan had written about him being a “cool, slutty dad” to which he replied, “I’m your cool, slutty dad.”
But The last of us was a flashpoint in his fame and his status as an ‘internet dad’. In the show, Pascal plays a (hot) character who was also considered a legitimately good father by many. a GQ article pointed explains that Pascal’s positive rapport with co-star Bella Ramsey, who is 19 years old, was a stark contrast to leading men like Leonardo DiCaprio, who have a reputation for dating women so young. Part of Pascal’s rise as a sex symbol, ironically, could be because he seems like a really good guy – and a really good “daddy.”
Of course, Pascal’s role as Din Djarin in the current season of The mandolin is also prominent – but in that show he has a helmet on. Disney is also known for its family-friendly, squeaky-clean image, which doesn’t exactly match the amount of thirst fans have pushed Pascal on.
It was TikTok that would catapult Pascal’s thirst to even greater heights.
Why did Pedro Pascal blow up on TikTok?
A fancam edit of Pedro Pascal went viral on January 20, earning the creator over 3.6 million likes and over 30 million streams at the time of writing. The clip interweaves close-ups and scenes Kingsman: The Golden Circle, in which Pascal plays Agent Whiskey. In the clip, Whiskey brashly approaches Ginger Ale, played by Halle Berry, and says, “How would you like to ride home on a real cowboy? I’ve got a six-pack of cold ones on ice and my roommates are out all night, so you can yell my name as loud as you need to, baby. The video then transitions into a series of punchy cuts of Pascal in a cowboy hat.
The TikTok has since been dubbed the primary Pascal fancam edit – with one commenter bluntly stating, “I love how the entire fandom has just collectively agreed that this is the official Pedro Pascal edit.” Shaggy’s song “Hey Sexy Lady” combined with those specific dialogues from Kingsman: The Golden Circle, has become the audio file used for many of Pascal’s other thirst edits. More than 24,000 TikToks use that particular audio.
TikTokers also started to resurface older video from Vanity Fair, in which Pedro Pascal takes a lie detector test. “Do you ever look at any Instagram accounts geared towards you being a heartthrob,” the interviewer asks him. He admits he does, with a big laugh before admitting that the Pedro Pascal Fan Account is his favorite. He ends the interview by saying, ‘Dad is a state of mind, you know what I mean? I am your father.’
But at some point, fan enthusiasm began to shift from “sweet” to “creepy.” They’re guessing on Pedro Pascal’s stint ashes Saturday Night Live host in February, which even included a sketch ridiculing his reputation as an internet daddy and alluding to his exhaustion with the whole gamble.
Other media outlets also continued to play into the story. Just two weeks ago, Pascal had to respond again to being called “daddy”. on The Graham Norton Show.
And a meme from the 2022 movie in early March The unbearable weight of enormous talentin which Nicolas Cage looks back at a smiling Pedro Pascal, spanning TikTok – a newfound fan obsession with the actor.
Pedro Pascal’s thirst is getting out of hand
Parasocial relationships between fans and celebrities are nothing new, and it can be difficult to draw the line between pleasure and admiration, and fetishism. (Fanfiction sites like AO3 in particular tend to take this question into consideration, as writers sometimes create stories that are not about fictional characters portrayed by actors, but about the actors themselves.) The thirst for Pascal grew even more uneasy as the media continued to participate in the parasocial dynamics, legitimizing the way the star was sexualized.
In a red carpet interview for the current season of The MandalorianEarlier this month, Access Hollywood asked Pascal to read thirsty tweets about himself — similar to the popular BuzzFeed YouTube series where celebrities read thirsty tweets to the camera. Pascal paused to consider the question, but then politely declined, saying “no”.
I can’t imagine accessing the red carpet just to make an actor uncomfortable by putting him in a sexual situation that he wasn’t accepting that way.
I’m thirsty for Pedro as we all do, but the way he’s been reduced to this instead of you know, maybe questions about his job… https://t.co/XYsMysxU21
— Kate Sánchez⁷ ➡️ #SXSW (@OhMyMithrandir) March 2, 2023
It’s worth noting that asking someone to do this on the red carpet is quite different from doing this kind of reading in a more scripted setting, like a number of Redditors noticed. There’s a difference between logging in to read sexualized content about yourself, and having someone ask you out of the blue to engage with it at a formal event. Sure, fancams and edits are fun, but they become fetishistic to the point where they take over someone’s public persona – and invade their space at public events.
Fortunately, Pascal had that in a recent Hot Ones interview space to answer other questions about his career and his take on the characters he has played over the years. There’s more to Pascal, or any skillful actor for that matter, than just thirsting for him – and hopefully he’ll get more opportunities to actually dig into his craft.