The actor and his family became political refugees in the ’70s as they were forced to flee former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet’s rule.
Pedro Pascal has played brave fighters onscreen in complex shows like "The Last Of Us," "The Mandalorian" and "Game of Thrones," but his family’s real-life migration story from Chile to the United States is truly harrowing. On an episode of the Smartless podcast, the 48-year-old actor detailed how he and his family became political refugees in the ’70s as they were forced to flee former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet’s rule, reported CNN.
Pedro Pascal shares his family's immigration story - Los Angeles Times https://t.co/YGNE6DVVfF— Sam -GSD- Fisher 🐝⚖💛 (@SamFish90) June 8, 2023
His parents were “young, liberal college students” during Augusto Pinochet’s rule. While they weren’t “revolutionaries by any stretch of the imagination,” his mother’s first cousin was “very involved in the opposition movement against the military regime.” His parents agreed to “hide” a victim of a gunfight “for a while” when they were taken to his home so his father could help “tend to the wound.”
His father was doing a residency at a local hospital back then. All this was happening when Pedro was just four months old. The person who brought the victim to their home reportedly ended up being “taken into custody and tortured–and gave names.”
“They came looking for my parents, and so, then my parents had to go into hiding for about six months,” he said. They had to physically climb over the wall of the Venezuelan embassy in Santiago and “demand asylum.” “And it worked,” he added.
Pedro Pascal was born in Chile. After seeking political asylum through the Venezuelan embassy in Santiago, his family was granted political asylum in Denmark. Eventually, they moved to Southern California; he has also lived in New York!!💙#PedroPascal #Refugee pic.twitter.com/R015qRCpXk— #IAmAnImmigrant (@IAmAnImmigrant) March 22, 2023
The family managed to find asylum in Denmark when Pascal was 9 months old before they immigrated to the United States. Pascal and his siblings were raised in both Texas and Southern California. "They offered us political asylum in Denmark and shortly after they received a job offer in the U.S. For that reason, that opportunity, I grew up here. That is the power of our culture. People from all over the world come to this country to offer their skills,” he told EFE regarding his experience, per Yahoo! News.
'Last Of Us' Star Pedro Pascal Morphs Into Emotional Argument For Immigration On 'SNL' https://t.co/EnVDvQhpG5— xreaperx8068 (@Reaper39329654) February 5, 2023
In his "Saturday Night Live" monologue in February, the actor paid tribute to his parents, calling them “so brave.” He added, “Without them, I wouldn’t be in this wonderful country and I certainly wouldn’t be standing here with you all tonight.”
Someone yelling out “you make Chile proud!”— evelina o (@evelinao) April 1, 2023
And Pedro Pascal answering “Viva Chile!” 🏼 pic.twitter.com/dmoHiCS1vw
Sadly in 2000, the Chilean actor lost his mother to suicide. He was just 24 years old. The actor told Paula magazine in 2017, “The circumstances of my mother’s death made it very hard for us to remember her as the person she was. It hurts so much... Sometimes I feel anguished and I try to deal with it in the best possible way, because I know that my mother would not want me to do it any other way.”
In 2020, he recalled to PEOPLE that his mother "was always incredibly supportive, never a stage mom. I always felt like she knew something that I didn’t. None of (my success) would be real if it weren’t for her.” The "Narcos" star added that he felt he was a bit of a "spoiled kid" and would argue with his parents over silly things. "I'm being a little harsh with myself, but this would have been about eight years after they had been running for their lives," he said. "I was so well taken care of and shielded from it." His personal relationships have made him the person he is today. "I relied on my friends like one would food and water," he confessed. "Because I was on my own, I felt a little rattled and ultimately grateful for all of my friendships, old and new. We were there for each other. That really is the only thing that matters."