While the titular character of 'The Mandalorian' may be a faceless bad-ass who shoots people for money and has no compunction about slicing someone in half with a door, the actor playing him couldn't be further from the role.
Best known to audiences from his role as Javier Pena in 'Narcos', Pedro Pascal has had to completely rethink his acting when it comes to 'The Mandalorian' - because, of course, you can't see his face. The series, currently streaming on Disney+, explores the murky world of 'Star Wars' between 'Return of the Jedi' and 'The Force Awakens', where law and order has broken down on the frontiers of the galaxy and the remnants of the Empire now resemble criminal gangs more than anything else.
In the middle of all this is the Mandalorian with no name, who finds himself caring for a small child that just so happens to be the same species as Yoda, the venerable master of Luke Skywalker.
Pedro Pascal has made no secret of the fact that he's a product of the 'Star Wars' generation, but playing a faceless bounty hunter requires much more than imagination. "It gives me an opportunity to focus on body language in a way that I haven't really thought about before," he explains over a Zoom meeting. "A head tilt, or a hand gesture, or even a stance is just as important as the dialogue. More so for me, because there's only so much you can do with your voice."
Yet, for all of the ways in which Pascal makes the role his own, he points out that there are three stunt doubles around him - one of whom just so happens to be the grandson of John Wayne - and at least four departments working on the Mandalorian's armour alone. "It is this kind of collaborative thing, I feel very much at a similar level with everyone else working on it, as a passenger to this experience that goes into the whole of it," Pascal goes on.
But how does one relate to a taciturn bounty hunter on a human level? As the season progresses, the Mandalorian's backstory is revealed to be one that shares some similarities with Pascal's own life. In the series, the Mandalorian is revealed to be a refugee of the Clone Wars and was taken in by the Mandalorians as a foundling.
Pascal's parents, meanwhile, were supporters of Chilean socialist president Salvador Allende and were involved in the opposition to Augusto Pinochet's military coup of 1973, eventually fleeing Chile shortly after he was born and moving between Denmark and the US, before settling there.
"It's something I became more and more aware of as we went on, and it's just so easy to relate to the way I processed who we were and where we are as a family in my childhood. I remember knowing that, in a way to translate it through 'Star Wars', that my parents escaped an imperial regime," Pascal laughs.
"It was often that I imagined my mother as Princess Leia, as a kid, you know. I can't say that I've shaped too many concrete ideas in my mind as far as how much a character like the Mandalorian relates to me personally, but I was very moved when we cut back to the child, and having lost his parents and adopted by the Mandalorian people. It definitely resonated with me, and many many people, I'm sure."
'The Mandalorian' is currently streaming on Disney+. The final episode of the first season arrives on the service next Friday. The second season is expected to drop in October, with a third season recently announced.