Actor Pedro Pascal is enjoying his Game Of Thrones experience
SINGAPORE — Don’t ask Pedro Pascal, who plays the Dornish Prince Oberyn Martell on the fourth season of Game Of Thrones, any tough questions before he’s had his coffee in the morning — even if you bump into him and are dying to tell him what a big fan of the show you are.
“Every now and then, I will get a very friendly smile and a thumbs-up from a stranger on a train, or somebody who is kindly serving me my coffee in the morning will say, ‘Are you the Prince of Dorne?’ And because I haven’t had my coffee yet, I have a moment of confusion. ‘No, I’m Pedro.’ Then I realise what they’re asking me and I say, ‘yes’,” Pascal revealed over the phone from New York City.
This season, Oberyn, nicknamed The Red Viper, volunteers to fight for Tyrion Lannister, who stands falsely accused by Queen Cersei of his nephew’s murder, against Cersei’s champion: Gregor Clegane, aka The Mountain That Rides, who also raped and killed Martell’s sister.
“I’ve clearly positioned myself as Tyrion’s champion for his trial by combat and will finally face a man I have been wanting to face ever since the death of my sister,” Pascal said. “I would say that fans of the books who are fans of the show have never been dissatisfied over any of the major events and I can assure you they will not be disappointed for this one.”
According to Pascal, filming the battle scene was a “very harrowing experience” but also “one of the most exciting in my life”. Said the 39-year-old said: “We were shooting outside, it’s a pretty large battle and we all wanted to get it right. Nobody got hurt. There were no injuries sustained. There was no heat exhaustion. Everyone was working really hard together and having a great time.”
And no, the scenes weren’t specially shot to make The Mountain look suitably imposing. “I can definitely say there are zero camera tricks used since the actor is six foot nine and 420 pounds of muscle,” Pascal said. “He (was at) a strong man competition held in China, he came back with the title of third strongest man in the world. Physically, it was intimidating, but he’s a very kind person and we got along beautifully.”
The Chilean-born actor said he also got along with the other cast members. “On my first day, in Ireland, I had to go and discuss the character on set. Kit Harington happened to be working that day and he introduced himself and invited me to dinner with some of the other cast members on my first night. That kind of set the tone for me throughout the rest of the experience. It was very welcoming.
“As a fan of the show, I was very familiar with the actors playing these characters. It was very easy for me to feel pressure and intimidated, but they diminished that fear in an instant because of how generously they treated me.”
Pascal said he considers the scene in the cell with Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion, a “career highlight”. “Peter Dinklage is every bit as smart as Tyrion Lannister and every bit as fun as well. It is one of these perfectly synchronised moments in time where the perfect actor has been assigned to the perfect role. I’ve been a fan of Peter’s for many years. It was an incredible honour to step into a dark cell and shoot a scene with him — a career highlight for me.”
Pascal also cites Oberyn as his favourite character he has ever had to play. And if he could write his character’s fate, it would go something like this: “What I would wish for Oberyn Martell is for him to take down all the Lannisters and go hand in hand with his partner, Ellaria Sand, having a party throughout the rest of Westeros.”
Catch the next episode of Game Of Thrones on June 8 at 10pm on HBO (StarHub TV Ch 601).