Pedro Pascal Thinks People Will Always Get ‘Butthurt’ About Blind Casting

We’re seemingly in the age of adaptations, as studios race to lock in franchises and takes on established IP. And though there’s an increasing demand to see these projects reflect the world we live in, we’ve also seen racist culture wars stoked around blind casting. In a world where we cannot escape that, Pedro Pascal thinks we should still do it anyway.

“I think that the change is really important and that the best way to continue representation is just casting a person into a role that isn’t limiting a character to racial identity, especially if it’s an IP we’re familiar with or a book,” Pascal recently told Variety of the need for adaptations to diversify the source material.

Pascal, of course, played Joel Miller in HBO’s adaptation of The Last of Us, a change from the Caucasian character portrayed by Troy Baker in the hit PlayStation video game series. The show went even further to accommodate the choice, hiring Gabriel Luna to play Joel’s brother Tommy, while casting Baker and Jeffrey Pierce, who played Tommy in the games, in alternate guest roles. Pascal now finds himself as potentially only the second Latino actor to be nominated for an Emmy in the lead actor category, for either his performance as Joel or as Din Djarin in The Mandalorian.

But while Pascal has seen his career skyrocket thanks to opportunities like this, that’s not the reason he advocates for blind casting to push representation—not, as some detractors will counter, meaning that this would somehow make it acceptable for white actors to play characters established as minorities. Instead, he takes a franker approach: there’s always going to be someone mad, so you might as well embrace that fact and do it anyway.

“People get so butthurt about this kind of stuff, but who cares?” Pascal questioned. “Because that’s the coolest way of moving the needle, is being open about the casting in every way.”

He’s right! Trolls have spent years and years and years, especially moreso in recent memory, on campaigns of aggression and harassment against racially diverse casting choices on screens big and small. They will never be appeased, only move on to the next arbitrary piece of bigotry to wax lyrical about. Instead of concerning themselves with a vocal minority that will always be like that, why not just ignore them and do it anyway? If it means more Pedro Pascal Joel Millers on our screens, then it can only be a good thing.

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