*Warning: This story contains spoilers for Game of Thrones, Season 4.
We can’t deny that all of us (male and female alike) were basically in tears when Game of Thrones’ Oberyn (aka Pedro Pascal) was killed during his fight as champion for Tyrion Lannister. To our delight though, upon recently seeing Much Ado About Nothing at The Delacorte Theater in Central Park, we learned that Pascal’s head is still very much intact – and looking better than ever for that matter (For those confused, Pascal’s demise on GOT involved a kind of head-squeezed-until-exploding situation).
It’s hard not to have an instant crush on Pedro Pascal, something you’ve definitely gaged from these photos, and that you’re about to gauge from his interview below. Tonight is the last night Pascal can be seen on the Delacorte’s stage as the perpetually-plotting villain Don John, so you may want to stop over and wait in line for tickets. We personally met up with Pascal at The Smith Lincoln Center – a favorite restaurant of ours around the park – to chat on all things Game of Thrones, Shakespeare, and his idea of the perfect first date (ladies, get out your moleskins)…
From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?
I’d start with very strong, very tasty espresso, runny eggs and buttery toast, someone to share blueberry pancakes with, and then more coffee. A burger and a shake (or a beer – or both) for lunch, and at some point, gin and oysters. And someone with me to remind me to eat some greens.
What are some pre and post shoot routines?
Pre-shoot, I’m just muttering, “Don’t f*ck it up,” under my breath. Post-shoot, relief or despair over having or having not f*cked it up. And barking. I usually bark.
Most memorable moment on set…
For me, it was sitting between Charles Dance and Lena Headey during Tyrion’s trial and watching them, Sibel Kekilli, Peter Dinklage, the extras, design and creative team and entire crew work their magic. All I had to do was sit there and take it in from one of the best views in the house.
Do people snack on that set? What do they have?
In Belfast there is a lot of tea going around. In Croatia, there were cheese and ham sandwiches that I couldn’t stop eating.
How did you prepare for your role as Oberyn?
The preparation for the role really came from talking with the show’s creators, David Benioff and Dan Weiss, and one of the show’s directors, Alex Graves. They invited me into dialogues about the character very early; what motivates him, what makes him human. They were very trusting and generous, so there was a lot of room to explore, and to let the imagination run free. The writing was so good, so that really did most of the work. The stunt team put me in some Wushu training with a master of the form for a couple of weeks before I started, and very intense fight rehearsals throughout.
How did you prepare for your role as Don John in Much Ado About Nothing?
The major difference for me in doing a play, as opposed to TV or film, is the rehearsal process. Six days a week for four to five weeks (usually) you’re rehearsing, and it’s during that process that I find the character – a character that becomes even more clear to me in performing before a live audience over and over again.
What’s it like going from playing a hero to a villain?
They’re both equally fun. The best part is discovering the qualities of a bad guy that don’t make him much different than a hero – that make him just like any of us.
What did you always have with you on set during your Much Ado About Nothing rehearsals?
My script! And coffee.
What would be your last meal? Who would it be with?
Something bad for me, with my family.
Have you ever done a workout or diet specifically for a role? What was it?
Up until now, I’ve really only relied on the physical demands of whatever role I’m playing at the time. Like one character is a boxer, another can helicopter a spear through the air, and this one [Don John] sits on his ass and bitches all day. I’ve yet to face something that would mean experiencing a specific physical transformation and have always been curious if I’d be up for the challenge. I hope so.
Your idea of the perfect first date…
A date that doesn’t feel like a date. And hopefully by the end, or throughout, very good kissing.
Words to act by…
One word. Relax.
If you could host a dinner party with any five people living or dead, who would be there? What would be your quote-of-the-evening to all?
Carrie Fisher, James Baldwin, Henry Miller, Salvador Allende and Karen O. I wouldn’t have a quote for all. With this company, I would just shut up and listen.
And, most importantly…do you still have a headache?
I’m feeling much better, thank you.
*Pedro Pascal, photographed at The Smith in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann.