The rise of Pedro Pascal as ‘internet dad’, explained

If you’ve spent any time on the internet in the last two months, chances are you’ve come across Pedro Pascal fancams or sed edits, ranging from tweets calling The last of us the “dad” star on TikToks using an audio clip of Shaggy’s “Hey Sexy Lady” to punctuate edits from thirsty fans. Or maybe you saw the 47-year-old Chilean-American actor appear in an ad for the oddball game. merge mansion and wondered how it got there.

Whatever the case may be, here’s an account of why Pascal has been on the internet lately, and how the fixation on his identity as “internet dad” has gotten out of hand.

Why has Pedro Pascal become so suddenly popular?

Although Pedro Pascal has been an actor playing leading roles for years, with credits spanning game of Thrones, the mandolario, 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.

Pascal’s thirst had already kicked in by early 2023. On the red carpet in January, an Entertainment Tonight reporter asked him, “You do know you’re the daddy of the internet, right?” before showing him a tweet that a fan had written about him as a “cool horny dad”, to which he replied: “I’m your cool horny dad.”

But The last of us it was a high point in his prominence and his status as “Internet Dad”. On the show, Pascal plays a (hot) character who was also considered by many to be a legitimately good father. A GQ article noted that Pascal’s positive relationship with co-star Bella Ramsey, who is 19, was in stark contrast to prominent men like Leonardo DiCaprio who have a reputation for dating women this 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.”

Sure, Pascal’s role as Din Djarin in the current season of the mandolario He’s also prominent, but on that show, he’s got his helmet on. Disney is also known for the familiar and squeaky-clean image of him, which doesn’t exactly match the amount of thirst fans have pushed towards Pascal.

It was TikTok that catapulted Pascal’s thirst to even greater heights.

Why has Pedro Pascal exploded on TikTok?

A Pedro Pascal fancam edit went viral on January 20, earning its creator dvcree over 3.6 million likes and over 30 million streams, at the time of writing. The clip interweaves close-ups and scenes from Kingsman: The Golden Circle, in which Pascal plays Agent Whiskey. In the clip, Whiskey cheekily approaches Ginger Ale, played by Halle Berry, and says, “Would you like to come home in a real cowboy? I’ve got a cold six pack on ice, and my roommates are out all night, so you can yell my name as loud as you need to, honey. The video then cuts to a series of hit cuts of Pascal wearing a cowboy hat.

TikTok has since been referred to as the main Pascal fancam edit, with one commenter outright saying, “I love how the entire fandom has collectively agreed that this is the official Pedro Pascal edit.” Shaggy’s song “Hey Sexy Lady”, combined with those particular lines of dialogue from Kingsman: The Golden Circle, has become the audio file used for many other thirsty editions of Pascal. More than 24,000 TikToks use that particular audio.

TikTokers also began to resurface an earlier Vanity Fair video, in which Pedro Pascal takes a lie detector test. “Do you ever look at Instagram accounts dedicated to you as a heartbreaker?” the interviewer asks. He admits yes, with a big laugh, before admitting that the Pedro Pascal Fan Account is his favorite. He ends the interview by saying, “Dad it’s a state of mind, you know what I’m saying? I’m your daddy.”

But at some point, the fan fervor began to change from “sweet” to “creepy.” They clung to Pedro Pascal’s season as Saturday night live host in February, which even included a skit mocking his reputation as the dad of the internet and hinting at his exhaustion with all the tactic.

Other media outlets also continued to play with the narrative. Just two weeks ago, Pascal once again had to respond to being called “dad” in The Graham Norton Show.

And in early March, a 2022 movie meme The unbearable weight of massive talentin which Nicolas Cage looks back at a smiling Pedro Pascal, went viral on TikTok, reigniting fans’ obsession with the actor.

When Pedro Pascal’s thirst gets out of hand

Parasocial relationships between fans and celebrities are nothing new, and it can be hard to tell the line between fun and admiration and fetishization. (Fanfiction sites like AO3, in particular, often keep this question in mind, as writers sometimes create stories not about fictional characters the actors portray, but about the actors themselves.) The thirst for Pascal became even more uncomfortable as the media continued to engage in the parasocial dynamic, thus legitimizing the way the star was being sexualized.

In an interview on the red carpet for the current season of the mandalorianEarlier this month, Access Hollywood asked Pascal to read sed tweets about himself, similar to the popular BuzzFeed YouTube series in which celebrities read sed tweets to the camera. Pascal paused to contemplate the question, then politely declined, saying “no.”

It’s worth noting that asking someone to do this on the red carpet is totally different than doing this type of reading in a more structured setting, as several Reddit users have pointed out. There’s a difference between signing up to read sexualized content about yourself and someone asking you, out of the blue, to participate in it during a formal event. Sure, fancams and edits are fun, but they become fetishistic at a point where they take over someone’s public persona and invade their space at public events.

Thankfully, in a recent Hot Ones interview, Pascal had space to answer other questions about his career and his perspective on the characters he’s played over the years. There’s more to Pascal, or any skilled actor, than just thirsting for him, and hopefully you’ll get more opportunities to delve into his craft.

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