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Pedro Pascal Credits One Role For Changing His Entire Life

From huge turns on HBO and Disney shows to a starring role in "The Fantastic Four," Pedro Pascal is seriously having a moment these days. The actor, who charms audiences both on-screen and on the red carpet, was chosen to be a part of the Vanity Fair Young Hollywood issue. The outlet asked Pascal which role permanently altered his life, and his answer wasn't a complete shock. 

"The role that changed my life was in 'Game of Thrones,'" he said. "I will always credit its creators for taking a chance on someone who had nothing but unknown theater credits and episodic television on their résumé." After expressing gratitude for "Game of Thrones" showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss and producer Carolyn Strauss, Pascal added he believes he wouldn't have booked notable projects like "Narcos," "The Mandalorian," "The Last of Us," and more if he didn't portray Oberyn Martell on "Game of Thrones."

Oberyn Martell ws a major fan favorite on Game of Thrones — and got an incredible death scene

"Game of Thrones" was such a big deal for Pedro Pascal at that point in his career because he played a fan-favorite character. Debuting on the show's 4th season, Oberyn Martell is a member of the Dornish royal family who travels to King's Landing with his lover, Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma). Though the two are initially there to represent the kingdom of Dorne at the wedding of Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson) and Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer), Oberyn ultimately serves a larger narrative purpose.

When Joffrey dies at his wedding, his uncle, Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), is immediately accused of poisoning the young king. Oberyn, who's formed a friendship with Tyrion, agrees to represent him in trial by combat and win his innocence. Unfortunately for Oberyn, Tyrion's opponent (and Joffrey's mother), Cersei Lannister, chooses Ser Gregor Clegane (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson), aka The Mountain, as her champion. Oberyn nearly defeats the massive man, but he gets a little too confident and is killed in the most gruesome way possible; Ellaria and Tyrion watch in abject horror as The Mountain squeezes Oberyn's head until it explodes. Oberyn only lasts one season but makes a memorable mark on "Game of Thrones."

Now, Pedro Pascal is one of Hollywood's most in-demand actors

After his beloved role on "Game of Thrones," Pedro Pascal's career skyrocketed. Shortly after Oberyn Martell was killed off, Pascal joined the Netflix original series "Narcos" as Javier Peña, the real-life Drug Enforcement Administration official who tried to take down famous drug lord Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura) and his Colombian cartel. He played that role for the show's first three seasons before moving on; in 2019, he starred as Din Djarin on "The Mandalorian." Despite frequently wearing a helmet that covers his face, Pascal's extraordinary acting skills create a shockingly emotional performance — especially in his moments with Grogu.

Pascal still appears as Din in various Star Wars properties, and he also plays another gruff, hesitant father figure in HBO's "The Last of Us," a stunning adaptation of the beloved video game. Between these roles and the fact Pascal is set to appear in highly anticipated projects like "Gladiator 2" and "The Fantastic Four," there's no question that he's one of the most in-demand performers in Hollywood right now. With that in mind, it's good that the "Game of Thrones" creative team saw fit to cast him all those years ago.