From Political Asylum to Breakout Stardom

Pedro Pascal, 42, was born in Santiago, Chile, but soon after his birth, his parents were forced to seek political asylum for their opposition to dictator Augusto Pinochet. “My mother’s cousin was very primary in the opposition against the military regime, but there was a huge degree of separation between him and my parents. Still, helping some people hide got them into hot water—eventually they got to the Venezuelan embassy and claimed asylum. We were sent to Denmark and then the U.S. My sister and I were born in Chile and raised in the States, and my little brothers were born in the States and raised in Chile after my parents moved back in 1995.”

His Roots Run Deep

“I’ve gone back my whole life,” says Pascal of visiting his home country, where his father is a doctor, one brother is in medical school, and another brother is an actor. “Everything is very normal in their lives. I feel a profound sense of gratitude and luck for that, and an incredible mourning for such an unjust and horrifying chapter that is still not given its due and just recognition.”

Embracing His Sudden Success

“I’ve been auditioning since I was 20, working as a waiter, getting theater gigs, doing the Law and Orders,” says Pascal, who studied acting at NYU but found fame only after his 2014 stint on Game of Thrones. He’s now appearing in his third season as a DEA agent on Narcos and is starring in Kingsman: The Golden Circle. “[My family] can’t believe it. My dad is so impressed. He loves the movies and would take us two, three times a week, so this fantasy of mine of becoming an actor? I can blame my father for that. He’s so amazed. And so happy.”

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