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  Marilia   June 25, 2018

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has invited a record number of new members, extending invites to 928 people.

The Academy topped last year’s record of 774 new members. The Academy invited 683 new members in 2016 and 322 in 2015, which were also record numbers. The expansion of Academy membership to more than 8,000 stems from an ongoing effort to diversify its ranks following uproar over the lack of African-American nominees in 2015 and 2016, which culminated in 2016’s #OscarsSoWhite controversy. Two weeks after the widely criticized nominations were announced, AMPAS announced a goal to double the number of women and diverse members of the Academy by 2020.

Monday’s invitations, if accepted, will result in 38% of the Oscars’ governing body’s new class being comprised of people of color, increasing their representation from 13% in 2017 to 16%. Meanwhile, the new class is 49% female, boosting the total representation of women from 28% in 2017 to 31%. [Source]

ACTORS: FULL LIST

  • Rubén Ochandiano – “Biutiful,” “Broken Embraces”
  • Issei Ogata – “Silence,” “Yi Yi”
  • John Ortiz – “Kong: Skull Island,” “Silver Linings Playbook”
  • Randall Park – “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” “Snatched”
  • Pedro Pascal – “Kingsman: The Golden Circle,” “The Adjustment Bureau”
  • Kal Penn – “The Namesake,” “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle”
  • Mekhi Phifer – “8 Mile,” “Soul Food”
  • Wendell Pierce – “Selma,” “Horrible Bosses”
  • Alison Pill – “Midnight in Paris,” “Milk”
  • Bel Powley – “Mary Shelley,” “The Diary of a Teenage Girl”
  • Tahar Rahim – “The Past,” “A Prophet”
  Marilia   May 09, 2018

Deadline — Narcos’ Pedro Pascal and Edgar Ramirez, who played Gianni Versace in Ryan Murphy’s recent American Crime Story franchise, have signed up to star in Oliver Assayas’ forthcoming Cuban spy drama Wasp Network.

The pair will star in the feature, which is based on the true story of Cuban spies in American territories during the 1990s and explores the reach of a terrorist network based in Florida that had ramifications across Central America.

Personal Shopper director Assayas wrote and directed the film, which is based on Fernando Morais’ book, The Last Soldiers of the Cold War. RT Features’ Rodrigo Teixeira is producing alongside CG Cinema’s Charles Gillibert, while  RT’s Lourenço Sant’Anna and Sophie Mas are executive producing.

IMR International is launching the film to foreign buyers in Cannes, with CAA is handling U.S. rights.

  Rory   October 06, 2017

LOS ANGELES TIMES – When Pedro Pascal was a 26-year-old struggling actor, he moved into a cheap, one-bedroom apartment in Red Hook, Brooklyn. For much of the past 15 years, he strung together rent in the time-honored New York tradition of waiting tables and booking the occasional guest spot on “Law & Order.”

By his mid-30s, Pascal, who studied acting at New York University, was finally gaining steam with recurring parts in “The Good Wife” and “Brothers & Sisters.” But the real tipping point arrived when Pascal was cast as sexually voracious swordsman Oberyn Martell in Season 4 of “Game of Thrones,” a part he found out about when a young actor he was mentoring auditioned for it. Pascal put himself on tape, and sent it to his friend, Sarah Paulson, whose best friend Amanda Peet happens to be married to “Game of Thrones” showrunner David Benioff.

The part opened up a wave of opportunities for Pascal, who was born in Chile but raised in Texas and Orange County. The 42-year-old can currently be seen in an expanded role as DEA Agent Javier Peña in the Netflix drama “Narcos” and as Whiskey, a lasso-wielding secret agent in “Kingsman: The Golden Circle.” After careful consideration, Pascal finally gave up the dilapidated Red Hook apartment last year.

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  Rory   September 09, 2017

MR PORTER – As Mr Pedro Pascal slumps in a chair in the Soho Hotel in London, he tells me a story. Two days before leaving the set of his current project in Seattle, an indie film called Prospect, the summoned driver didn’t recognise him and dismissed him as one of the city’s homeless.

“I was wearing a loose flannel,” he says. “I was wearing comfortable clothes to travel.”

The actor blames his collapsing luggage – held together by duct tape after stints in Colombia, Croatia, China, Belfast and London – rather than his attire. Still, that embarrassment speaks of the frayed-at-the-edges madness of the 42-year-old’s life these past couple of years.

Wearing his living-out-of-a-suitcase civvies – white T-shirt, blue jeans, black sneakers – his circadian rhythms are out of sync due to jet lag. His brain throbs from a Saturday morning of press appointments. And as far as his body is concerned, well, let’s just say any physical aches are nothing to do with post-gym burn. “Do I look like I gym?” he says, proffering a flabby upper arm.

I ask him to sum up the past two years in one sentence. Mr Pascal thinks hard, sipping his black Americano. He tries to wriggle out of it. Eventually he responds, “Ouch, my back.

“It’s funny that I can’t come up with an answer,” he says. “That failure has so much to do with the go-go-go aspect of the past two years. You never feel like you’re catching up. It’s the irony of getting what you’ve worked so hard for. You do have to stop and look behind you and assess what’s happened. And there’s the weird reality that loads has happened, and it’s all on film.”

Indeed it has. As Mr Pascal reached the end of his thirties, he finally put two decades as a jobbing player behind him and claimed Next Big Thing status. As Ms Sarah Paulson, a friend from their days as young wannabe actors in New York, puts it, “Most people don’t get to be in their early forties and have their lives changed, work-wise, in this business.”

First there was a memorable run in season 4 of Game Of Thrones. Mr Pascal played Prince Oberyn Martell, the all-fighting, all-fornicating Red Viper of Dorne (his exterior scenes were shot in Croatia, the interiors in Belfast). The adoptive Los Angeleno’s time on the show began with an access-all-areas-and-sexes orgy and ended with his head being crushed like a watermelon by Cersei’s favourite knight known as The Mountain.

Then there was a switch to the big screen for The Great Wall, the would-be blockbuster that Oscars host Mr Jimmy Kimmel larkily dubbed Mr Matt Damon’s “Chinese ponytail movie”. Then back to the small screen for Narcos, the Netflix series about Colombian drug cartels in the 1980s. In what amounts to something of a homecoming job, Mr Pascal plays Mr Javier Peña, a real-life field operative with the US Drug Enforcement Administration. Narcos shoots for six months of the year in Colombia, and the recently wrapped season three launched this month. There is blood, corruption and cocaine, mountains of it, with Mr Pascal once again at the heart of the action. But no Pablo Escobar.

But for now, it’s back to the movies. In Kingsman: The Golden Circle, the explosive follow-up to 2015’s box-office triumph Kingsman: The Secret Service, director Mr Matthew Vaughn cast Mr Pascal as one of his Statesman. They’re the rootin’, tootin’, six-gun-shootin’ American counterparts of the stiff-upper-quips British secret agents led by Messrs Colin Firth, Mark Strong and Taron Egerton. Mr Pascal plays Agent Whiskey, a “suited and booted cowboy” working with Mr Channing Tatum’s and Mr Jeff Bridges’ “rancher cowboy” agents.

“Matthew Vaughn has his finger on the pulse of nostalgia,” says Mr Pascal. “He takes us back to our childhoods in a naughty way. There’s such a wink there. And it’s really quite edgy – it’s rated R.” He credits Mr Vaughn with seeing something in his performance in the first season of Narcos (“And let’s be honest, I was quite marginal in that first season”) and hanging on to that vision of “this Burt Reynolds guy”.

“And 20th Century Fox could have said, ‘Who the f**k is Pedro Pascal?’ And Matthew was like, ‘That’s who I want.’” His self-doubt only added to his appeal. “[Pedro] had the swagger and confidence,” Mr Vaughn has observed, “but at the same time, such vulnerability of expecting to be rejected.”

“That’s a very accurate summation,” says Mr Pascal. “I think Matthew expected me to roll in and just be like, ‘’Sup? I’m The Guy.’ And I’m not like that. I have no confidence in terms of needing to meet a certain expectation of any kind, really. If Matthew was expecting some badass cowboy to walk in the door, that’s not me.”

Going spur to spur with Mr Tatum and Mr Bridges, then, was there a small voice in the back of his head whispering, “Pedro, you’re not worth it”? “There is something for me that’s so surreal about sitting a foot from Jeff Bridges and being invited to be a part of an ensemble that includes him, Colin Firth, Halle Berry, Mark Strong,” he says. “I didn’t grow up watching Channing Tatum, so that felt a little safer. But he’s still a star. It’s weird when you’re a fan, a young fan, of these other actors, and suddenly you’re their equal. So I think I kind of nestled into who I really am, as a fan, and just let that be.”

If we want to get all amateur psychologist and unpack that refreshing lack of ego, Mr Pascal suggests we consider his cultural status. “I’m not even first-generation American,” he says. “I was born in Chile and was already almost two when I came to the States. There’s something to that. It’s just rude if you’re not respectful. Because you’re a guest. And also, don’t draw too much attention to yourself. And you have more to prove, and that can’t be done through anything demonstrative or arrogant.”

After General Augosto Pinochet grabbed power in Chile in 1973, Mr Pascal’s parents fled the country. First, they hid in the Venezuelan Embassy, then they were given asylum in Denmark. After his fertility doctor father secured a laboratory job in the United States, the family emigrated, first to San Antonio, Texas, then to Orange County, California.

It was a comfortable, arts-filled childhood for Mr Pascal, his sister and two brothers. In film terms, he was a self-proclaimed early-adopter “nerd”, falling hard for horror films. Aged six, Poltergeist came into his life like a brick through a window. Exploiting the fact that his mother was otherwise engaged completing her PhD in child psychology, he watched it twice a day, every day, for a whole week of the summer holidays.

“Once Poltergeist rolled around, I already knew what I was,” he says. “And so when I saw trailers for that, honestly that was the primary seed of this kind of fantasy. My imagination developed so much from that movie, which is a little disturbing I guess.”

The Pascals were enthusiastic concert-goers, and took their children to see The Police, Iggy Pop and The Pretenders. Did they have such a lust for life because a dictatorship had nearly cost them theirs?

“Well, they were young,” he says. “And in a way, they saw it as, ‘This is what you do as a family in America.’ So my sister got tickets for Madonna’s Like A Virgin tour for her birthday, and we all went. Yeah, wicked!” For his 12th birthday, he saw U2 on their Joshua Tree tour. “And when I was 14 I saw The Stones’ Steel Wheels tour, with Guns N’ Roses opening. Their imperial years. It was like travelling to Africa. It was something that was burned into my mind.”

He’s ashamed to concede that, these days, he’s more disconnected from gigs and trips to the cinema. He’s a “curmudgeon” who can’t be bothered with the queuing and the effort. “I sit in a hotel room and I watch Netflix.”

Mr Pascal is single. When was his last serious relationship?

“Oh gosh,” he says. “Three years ago? Yeah, yeah, we’ll see if I die alone.” This, he agrees, is probably the downside of the itinerant madness of the past few years. “If I was to stop and think about dating, I don’t know how that could be managed with the schedule I’ve had,” he says. “I suppose that sounds a bit arrogant. But if I want to get involved in something, I want to pay attention to it, and I want to nurture it. It takes energy to be with someone – physical energy, emotional energy – and you want them to be happy. So I haven’t had time. Thank God for the internet.”

And, he adds, brightening, thank God for London. He loves coming to the city, not least for the stage productions on offer. Theatre seems to be one of the few pleasures he actively seeks out. This evening he’s going to see Angels In America, Mr Tony Kushner’s epic two-part meditation on AIDS and homosexuality in the US in the 1980s.

“My friend Russell Tovey is in it,” says Mr Pascal. “He’s a great guy. And he’s so on it. He got me tickets to both parts. Tony Kushner said it’s the best production he’s seen, which pissed me off. You can’t give that to the Brits. That’s not fair. This is Angels In America. There’s a clue in the title.”

Mr Pascal’s agents are making him fly straight back to the States, he harrumphs, otherwise he’d have tried to get tickets for Mr Sam Mendes’ acclaimed production of Mr Jez Butterworth’s The Ferryman.

“This trip is so mad dash, I’m not even pretending I’m here,” says Mr Pascal. “I’m already thinking what I have to do on Monday in Los Angeles that I could put off so I can stay and see that play.” Surely, though, on the rare occasions he’s home in LA, he goes out. “Yeah, sure, but I’ve got pretty boring in my old age. I’ve got to be invited and I’ve got to get myself out. Friends are giving me a hard time about it.”

He cheerfully refers to the disconnect between the parts he plays and the life he leads.

“You leave really the wrong impression with the public. I see people and I see how hard they can go, but I just don’t have the genes for it.” So, no, he’s nothing like the swashbuckling Mr Peña in Narcos or Game Of Thrones’ Oberyn, an epicurean who’s savouring life and “who’s ready to f**k everything”. That’s not him? “No, it’s not. It’s not the case at all. Possibly in my imagination,” he twinkles. “I’m certainly capable.”

So that’s a snapshot of Mr Pascal’s busy, giddy, globetrotting early forties. Before he goes, does he want to have another go at that summing-up sentence? The actor frowns, fidgets and flounders. His publicist, hovering like publicists do, suggests this:

“The joys and the perils of getting everything you ever hoped for.”

It’s good, better even. But, finally, a lightbulb moment from the weary man himself.

“Oh, there’s a quote from James Baldwin: ‘Be careful what you wish for because you most certainly will get it.’ That’s the last two years,” he says as he rises from the table. “But you should still put in ‘Ouch, my back.’”

  Marilia   August 30, 2017

It’s a Monday morning in August and Pedro Pascal, who plays DEA agent Javier Peña on the Netflix series Narcos but, perhaps, is still most famous for playing Oberyn Martell on Game of Thrones, has just flown into New York City the previous night. Here in the Essex House overlooking Central Park, he’s quick to warn that there will be consequences should anyone spoil the latest episode of the hit HBO fantasy series.

“Don’t you f**king say a word about last night because I was traveling; I will beat you down,” he threatens with a sly smile, channeling his tough-guy Netflix character but speaking, it seems, only half in jest.

The Chilean-born actor’s passion for the HBO series is, of course, shared by millions, most of whom would recognize him as the pansexual lothario from Dorne whose head gets crushed in by The Mountain in season four. While he only appeared in seven episodes, it’s a role that catapulted Pascal from relative obscurity – as a working TV and stage actor — to international recognition.

“My life changed,” the 42-year-old says of his brief time in Westeros. “I’ve been getting to see the world.”

After spending time in Croatia, where he filmed most of his Game of Thrones scenes, he headed to Qingdao, China, to film The Great Wallopposite Matt Damon. Zhang Yimou’s Chinese fantasy epic hit theaters in February, and then he was splitting time between London and Colombia as he filmed Kingsman: The Golden Circle, the star-studded British spy thriller in theaters in September, and the first three seasons of Narcos.

With his production schedule taking him all over the globe, Pascal has borne witness to his own rise. “No matter where you go, there’s going to a place where they’re really into Narcos and you’re the guy from Narcos, or the guy from Game of Thrones,” he says.

As you might imagine, the actor has been approached in what he calls some “really, really strange places.”

“I was snorkeling, and this person kept on looking at me,” Pascal recalls of one encounter, adding that he was in full underwater gear at the time. “I remember I got really nervous because I thought there was a shark or something… He’s just, like, coming toward me and without introducing himself or anything, he just pulls out his GoPro and he takes a picture of us.” The fan exclaimed “Gracias!” and it took the actor a moment to realize he’d been recognized, “even floating out at sea.”

“There’s such an international popularity,” he says of the two series that put him on the map. “I think that’s just lucky.”

Pascal’s Agent Peña has been rather fortunate himself, landing at the helm of Narcos’ third season, which premieres Sept. 1, and taking over its narration. (The first two seasons were narrated by Peña’s partner Steve Murphy, played by Boyd Holbrook.) “He’s in this very strange place of having been promoted for breaking the law,” Pascal says of Peña. “I think, personally, for the character there’s a redemption story there, [coming] back to right the wrongs that he was a part of.” Fans will recall that in bringing down drug kingpin Pablo Escobar in season two, Peña becomes involved with the Cali Cartel, who are now the target of his investigations.

The third season finds Peña facing a very different kind of challenge. “With Pablo, you have a king and an empire, and with Cali you have godfathers who usurped what was his and then expanded it. So to fight something like that is a completely different animal, which the character discovers more and more throughout the season,” Pascal says. This is especially true as Peña figures out the extent to which the cartel seems to have the whole country in its pocket.

He may have become el jefe, but that doesn’t mean Agent Peña is on the straight and narrow. “The morality of this world is so elusive, when you start getting into who the good guys are and who the bad guys are,” Pascal says. “There’s almost something self-centered” about his character’s actions, he explains, which take another unexpected turn at the end of season three. “I’m gonna do my own thing,” Pascal says of Peña’s motivations, “and it isn’t necessarily because it’s the right thing to do.”

Before getting started on the first season, Pascal spent some time with the real Javier Peña, a consultant on the show, which is inspired by true events but fictionalized for the purposes of TV. “I wasn’t forcing a lot of information out of him, and he wasn’t forcing any advice onto me — we just hung out.” While the agent is happy with how he’s been portrayed on Narcos — “the actual Javier Peña just dug it,” Pascal says — the actors on the series have been granted freedom to build nuanced characters from scratch.

Narcos’ third season concludes with a pretty clear hint that the series will head to Mexico for season four. It’s a likely assumption, given the history of the drug trade, but Pascal seems to be in the dark for now. “I didn’t know I was going to come back for season three, I have no idea what they’re going to be doing for season four,” he insists. But he does share one bit of (fairly obvious) intel: “I know that by the end of season four, we suggest via the Mexican border that ain’t nobody stopping doing drugs.” Go figure.

In the meantime, Pascal is living his dream. “I’ve been having that fantasy since I was a child,” he says of landing in big-budget action films. “And then I realize that the fantasy is actually just like, being in a trailer, synced into a moment perfectly scored to some cool music,” he says. “Because it’s such incredibly, incredibly hard work. And getting to it at an older age is funny,” Pascal leans in and finishes with a whisper: “Because everything hurts.”

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