Pedro Pascal’s rise as ‘internet daddy,’ explained

If you spent any time on the internet in the past two months, you likely encountered Pedro Pascal fancams or thirst edits — ranging from tweets calling Last of Us star “daddy,” to TikToks using an audio clip from Shaggy’s “Hey Sexy Lady” to punctuate thirsty fan edits. Maybe you remember seeing the Chilean-American actor, 47 years old, in an advertisement for oddball games. Merge MansionAnd wondered what he did to get there.

Whatever the case may be, here’s an accounting of why Pascal has been all over the internet lately — and how the fixation on his identity as “internet daddy” has gotten out of hand.

Why is Pedro Pascal suddenly so popular?

Though Pedro Pascal has been an actor playing leading roles, for years now — with credits that span Game of Thrones, The Mandolarian, Narcos — his role as Joel in HBO Max’s adaptation Last of UsHe has seen a meteoric rise in public attention and among thirsty fans.

The desire to be like Pascal was evident by 2023. In January, on the red carpet, an Entertainment Tonight reporter asked him “You know you’re the daddy of the internet, right?” before showing him a tweet that a fan had penned about him being a “cool, slutty father” to which he responded, “I am your cool, slutty daddy.”

However Last of Us was a flashpoint in his prominence, and his status as “internet daddy.” In the show, Pascal plays a (hot) character who many also considered to be a legitimately good dad. A GQ article pointed out that Pascal’s positive rapport with co-star Bella Ramsey, who is 19 years old, was a great contrast to leading men like Leonardo DiCaprio, who have a reputation for dating women that young. Part of Pascal’s rise as a sex symbol, ironically, might be because he seems like a genuinely good guy — and a genuinely good “daddy.”

Sure, Pascal’s role as Din Djarin in the current season of The Mandolarian is also prominent — but in that show, he’s helmeted up. Disney is also known for its family-friendly, squeaky clean image, which is not exactly a match for the amount of thirst that fans have pushed Pascal’s way.

TikTok would launch thirst for Pascal even higher.

What is the reason Pedro Pascal has blown up TikTok’s?

On January 20, a fancam edited of Pedro Pascal became viral, earning its creator dvcree over 3.6 million Likes and more that 30 million streams as of this writing. This clip combines close-ups with scenes from different sources. The Golden Circle: KingsmanPascal is the agent Whiskey in this video. In the clip Whiskey brashly approaches Ginger Ale, played by Halle Berry, and says: “How would you like to ride home on a real cowboy? I’ve got a six-pack of cold ones on ice, and my roomies are out all night, so you can scream my name as loud as you need to, sugar.” The video then transitions into a series of smash cuts of Pascal in a cowboy hat.

The TikTok has since been referred to as the primary Pascal fancam edit — with one commenter saying outright, “I love how the entire fandom has just collectively agreed that this is the official Pedro Pascal edit.” The song “Hey Sexy Lady” by Shaggy, combined with those particular lines of dialogue from The Golden Circle: KingsmanThe audio file referred to as, is used in many other Pascal thirst edits. This audio is used by more than 24,000 TikToks.

TikTokers began to resurface an older video by Vanity Fair in which Pedro Pascal took a lie detector exam. “Do you ever look at Instagram accounts devoted to you being a heartthrob,” the interviewer asks him. After a huge laugh, he admitted that he did, and then proclaimed his favourite account, the Pedro Pascal Fan Account. He ends the interview by saying, “Daddy is a state of mind, you know what I’m saying? I’m your daddy.”

But at some point, fans’ fervor started shifting from “sweet” to “creepy.” They glommed onto Pedro Pascal’s stint as Saturday Night LiveIn February, the host even made fun of him as an internet dad and joked about his exhaustion from all that.

The narrative was also continued by other media outlets. Just two weeks ago, Pascal once again had to respond to being called “daddy” on Graham Norton Show.

A meme from the 2022 movie was also shown in March. Massive Talent’s Unbearable Mass, in which Nicolas Cage looks back at a smiling Pedro Pascal, spread across TikTok — reigniting fan obsession with the actor.

Pedro Pascal’s thirst is out of control

These parasocial relationships between celebrities and fans are not new. It can be challenging to discern the difference between enjoyment and admiration. This question is often raised by fanfiction sites such as AO3. Writers sometimes write stories that are not about characters played by actors but rather about them. As media outlets continued to be part of the parasocial dynamic and legitimized the sexualization of Pascal, the thirst for Pascal grew more intense.

Red carpet interview with the present season’s cast Mandalorian, earlier this month, Access Hollywood asked Pascal to read thirst tweets about himself — not unlike the popular BuzzFeed YouTube series wherein celebrities read thirst tweets to the camera. Pascal paused to contemplate the question, then politely declined, saying “no.”

It’s worth noting that asking someone to do this on the red carpet is totally different from doing this sort of reading in a more scripted setting, as a number of Redditors pointed out. There’s a difference between signing on to read sexualized content about yourself, and having someone ask you, out of the blue, to engage with it during a formal event. Sure, fancams and edits are fun, but they do become fetishistic at a point where they take over someone’s public persona — and invade their space in public events.

Luckily, in a recent Hot Ones interview, Pascal had space to answer other questions about his career and his perspective on the characters he’s played over the years. There’s more to Pascal, or any skilled actor, than just thirsting after him — and hopefully he’ll have more chances to actually dig into his craft.

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