‘Game of Thrones': Red Viper actor Pedro Pascal hates spoilers too

May 12, 2014 | 2:11 p.m.
760006 got410 072213 hs dsc924411 Game of Thrones: Red Viper actor Pedro Pascal hates spoilers too

Arya (Maisie Williams) and the Hound (Rory McCann) meet some unexpected travelers. (Helen Sloan/HBO)

760006 got410 102213 hs dsc991411 Game of Thrones: Red Viper actor Pedro Pascal hates spoilers too

Meera (Ellie Kendrick), Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and Hodor (Kristian Nairn) on their way to the sacred tree. (Helen Sloan/HBO)

760005 got 409 cut l pub 09 01 Game of Thrones: Red Viper actor Pedro Pascal hates spoilers too

A scene from "The Watchers on the Wall," the ninth episode of Season 4 of HBO's "Game of Thrones." (Helen Sloan/HBO)

760005 got 409 cut l pub 05 01 Game of Thrones: Red Viper actor Pedro Pascal hates spoilers too

A scene from "The Watchers on the Wall," the ninth episode of Season 4 of HBO's "Game of Thrones." (Helen Sloan/HBO)

760005 got 409 cut l pub 04 01 Game of Thrones: Red Viper actor Pedro Pascal hates spoilers too

A scene from "The Watchers on the Wall," the ninth episode of Season 4 of HBO's "Game of Thrones." (Helen Sloan/HBO)

760005 got409 102513 hs dsc01721 Game of Thrones: Red Viper actor Pedro Pascal hates spoilers too

Rose Leslie as Ygritte and Kit Harington as Jon Snow in HBO's "Game of Thrones." (Helen Sloan/HBO)

760004 got mp 090413 ep408 16511 Game of Thrones: Red Viper actor Pedro Pascal hates spoilers too

Oberyn (Pedro Pascal) and the Mountain (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson) in battle. (Macall B. Polay / HBO)

760004 got408 103013 hs dsc04931 Game of Thrones: Red Viper actor Pedro Pascal hates spoilers too

Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) speaks harshly to her once-trusted adviser Jorah (Iain Glen) while Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) looks on. (Helen Sloan / HBO)

760004 got408 110513 hs dsc07661 Game of Thrones: Red Viper actor Pedro Pascal hates spoilers too

Roose Bolton (Michael McElhatton) rewards his bastard son Ramsay (Iwan Rheon). (Helen Sloan / HBO)

760002 got406 080713 hs dsc11961 Game of Thrones: Red Viper actor Pedro Pascal hates spoilers too

Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) sits on the Iron Throne as judge at Tyrion's trial. (Helen Sloan / HBO)

760002 got406 080713 hs dsc15701 Game of Thrones: Red Viper actor Pedro Pascal hates spoilers too

Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) advises his brother (Peter Dinklage). (Helen Sloan / HBO)

760001 got405 081213 hs dsc21351 Game of Thrones: Red Viper actor Pedro Pascal hates spoilers too

Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman) is crowned king by the High Septon (Paul Bentley). (Helen Sloan / HBO)

760001 got405 073113 hs dsc02741 Game of Thrones: Red Viper actor Pedro Pascal hates spoilers too

Arya (Maisie Williams) shows the Hound (Rory McCann) her sword-fighting moves. (Helen Sloan / HBO)

760000 got404 090213 hs dsc456411 Game of Thrones: Red Viper actor Pedro Pascal hates spoilers too

The lead mutineer (Burn Gorman) threatens Bran's friends (Ellie Kendrick and Thomas Brodie-Sangster). (Helen Sloan / HBO)

759999 got403 081513 hs dsc24511 Game of Thrones: Red Viper actor Pedro Pascal hates spoilers too

The Lannisters pay their respects to the fallen King Joffrey. With Lena Headey, Dean-Charles Chapman, Jack Gleeson and Charles Dance. (Helen Sloan / HBO)

759999 got403 101113 hs dsc853711 Game of Thrones: Red Viper actor Pedro Pascal hates spoilers too

Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) to the supposed rescue of Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner). (Helen Sloan / HBO)

759999 got403 101113 hs dsc846411 Game of Thrones: Red Viper actor Pedro Pascal hates spoilers too

Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) gives Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) a lesson on his power. (Helen Sloan / HBO)

759998 got mp 091013 ep402 261111 Game of Thrones: Red Viper actor Pedro Pascal hates spoilers too

Natalie Dormer in Sunday's episode of "Game of Thrones," "The Lion and the Rose," written by George R.R. Martin.

gameofthrones 16 Game of Thrones: Red Viper actor Pedro Pascal hates spoilers too

Natalie Dormer and Gwendoline Christie in a scene from "Game of Thrones." (Macall B. Polay / HBO)

gameofthrones 11 Game of Thrones: Red Viper actor Pedro Pascal hates spoilers too

Jacob Anderson and Nathalie Emmanuel in a scene from "Game of Thrones." (Macall B. Polay / HBO)

gameofthrones 12 Game of Thrones: Red Viper actor Pedro Pascal hates spoilers too

Michiel Huisman, Nathalie Emmanuel and Emilia Clarke in a scene from "Game of Thrones." (Macall B. Polay / HBO)

gameofthrones 19 Game of Thrones: Red Viper actor Pedro Pascal hates spoilers too

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Peter Dinklage in a scene from "Game of Thrones." (Neil Davidson / HBO)

Even for the actors on “Game of Thrones,” spoilers can be a real joy-killer.

Take, for example, Pedro Pascal, who plays Oberyn Martell on HBO’s hit fantasy series. When the opportunity came up for Pascal to audition for the role of the fiery Dornish prince known as the Red Viper, the longtime fan of the show was thrilled — but also dismayed to learn some of the twists the narrative would take in the fourth season.

“I never associated any kind of possibility of being a part of it as I watched it,” explained Pascal, who had not then read the George R.R. Martin novels that inspired “Game of Thrones.” “When I got the audition, it didn’t seem attainable to me, so really the spoilers in the sides were what I had my first reaction to. I was upset because I found some major things out…  I threw the [script] pages into the air in fury, and 17 pages of sides came floating down. It was very dramatic. I should have taped that and sent it.

“I was genuinely upset,” he added. “I like to watch my shows, you know what I mean? I like surprises, especially on a show like ‘Game of Thrones.'”

As far as marquee television series are concerned, “Game of Thrones” has more surprises than most, and Martell has been at the center of some of the most shocking events unfolding in King’s Landing this season. The character witnessed the untimely demise of King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and then was tapped to serve as a judge at the trial of the boy’s uncle Tyrion (Peter Dinkage), who stands accused of poisoning the cruel monarch during his wedding feast.

He’s also advised Hand of the King Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) that Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), though far away in Essos, could pose a substantial threat to the Lannisters’ continued control of the Iron Throne. But at his core, he’s most concerned with avenging the murder of his sister, Elia, who was raped and killed by Gregor Clegane, a knight who was in the Lannisters’ service (and the brother of the mercenary known as the Hound).

QUIZ: Test your ‘Game of Thrones’ knowledge

“He’s a very reactive person,” Pascal says of Oberyn. “He does what he feels, when he feels it and it doesn’t matter what the consequence may be. He doesn’t know any other way to be. It’s dangerous but at the same time, it’s a conscious decision that he’s making. He’s a smart guy, he’s not crazy, it’s just not a very long life and he knows that. Whether it be rage or love, whether it be lust or sympathy or any of his feelings, he’s going to feel them and if the feeling motivates action then so be it. It doesn’t matter who it’s going to affect. It makes him the kind of person who is not afraid of the people everyone is afraid of.”

Born in Santiago, Chile, Pascal, 39, moved as a young child with his family first to Demark, then to San Antonio, Texas, before relocating to Orange County. He studied theater at New York University and spent most of his adult life in New York, though he now divides his time between Brooklyn and Los Angeles.

In addition to working steadily in theater, he’s had turns on the CBS TV series “The Good Wife” and “The Mentalist,” among other shows, and on the big screen he appeared in 2011’s “The Adjustment Bureau” as well as in the upcoming indie horror comedy, “Bloodsucking Bastards” opposite fan-favorite actor Fran Kranz.

Still, “Game of Thrones” represented a new challenge, namely in transitioning from “spectator to participant.”

“I hadn’t really experienced going to a job where I was already very familiar from an audience standpoint with the world and the material,” Pascal said. “And so inevitably your expectations are very high. You can also battle being intimidated and feel pressure to fulfill what you are already experiencing as a fan. I was always juggling throughout the experience. It wasn’t hard to sink my teeth into the part because the material was so good. But then you’re sitting among a large part of the cast in the throne room and there are moments where you’re like, ‘I’m actually in this scene!'”

In terms of sheer scale, “Game of Thrones” is largely unmatched on television. The production is based in Belfast in a converted ship painting facility where the finishing touches were once placed on the Titanic. After the series outgrew the original 64,000 square feet at the converted soundstages, an additional 44,000 square feet were constructed. The show also films around other areas in Northern Ireland and travels to exotic locales including Iceland and Croatia.

During his work on Season 4, Pascal divided his time between filming in Belfast and Croatia, and he said the spectacle of some of his scenes was dazzling. However, the actor also pointed out that the tremendous physicality required to play the Red Viper, which necessitated Pascal study the style of acrobatic martial arts known as Wushu, was sometimes daunting.

“Most of my professional experience and training is theater, which can be very physical … but on my free time I don’t know how to do karate and do flips,” he said. “While I’m pretty comfortable with body contact combat, something like boxing, I didn’t know how to spin to helicopter a spear around my body the way I needed to learn for this and that scared me. When you’re a kid and you’re freaked out by PE because the eighth graders are so much bigger than you and you guys are going to play football — when you’re a grown man and you feel that [intimidated] — am I going to be able to pull this off? — it was a funny feeling.”

As the series heads into its seventh episode next week, loyal readers of Martin’s work might have some clues about Martell’s future and his ultimate fate. But regardless of how long his “Thrones'” tenure lasts, or what the future holds for his character, Pascal said he remains an avowed fan of the show, and its consistent ability to surprise.

“There is a very seductive element in its production that is very impressive,” Pascal said. “It’s so elegant and raw, and its storytelling has such an epic quality to it. The thing that really ropes me in are the more claustrophobic, intimate, interior scenes where there is so much at stake happening in an exchange of words between two people…. It feels like a political drama, a family drama, it’s very frightening. They take all of these powerful themes of storytelling and they flip them and they turn them inside out. They trick you and they satisfy you and they upset you all amid this incredible film aesthetic.”

– Gina McIntyre

Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex

RECENT AND RELATED

Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth in "Game of Thrones." (HBO)

‘Thrones’: Gwendoline Christie on Brienne’s beauty

‘Thrones’ trailer: Secrets, swords, search for Arya

‘Game of Thrones’: New Season 4 character posters

Exclusive: George R.R. Martin on Arya, the Hound

‘Thrones’: 15 images offer peek at Westeros

‘Thrones’: Meet the cast without their costumes

‘Thrones’: Featurette’s cheeky look at HBO fantasy

‘Thrones’ Season 4 trailer: Vengeance, dragons

‘GOT’ star Michelle Fairley: ‘Everyone’s dispensable’

‘Game of Thrones’: Jaime Lannister’s evolution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title="" rel=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <pre> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Close
E-mail It
Powered by ShareThis