Pedro Pascal was “so scared” about hosting “Saturday Night Live” earlier this year that he spoke to his late mother, Verónica Pascal, for some comfort.
The “Last of Us” star spoke to Esquire in a candid new interview about hosting “SNL” on the anniversary of his mother’s passing. She died on February 4, 2000, and he hosted the show exactly 23 years later.
Before his mom took her own life, Pascal had just started getting some roles in shows including “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Touched by an Angel” in 1999. However, when she passed the following year, he returned back to Chile at age 24 to be with his family.
Pascal recalled of hosting “SNL”, “I was so scared that week that I was talking to her.”
He told the mag that after a long day of rehearsals “there would be that terror waiting for me—that practical fear of bombing in front of the world. And then I talked to her, and it was really comforting. I had sort of the realization that it would be nice to talk to her more.”
Pascal recalled telling his mom, “I love you. I miss you. Thank you. I’m scared. I would love it if you would help me believe in myself, because I know you do. You know?”
The “Mandalorian” star shared of returning home to look after his youngest siblings, sister Lux and brother Nicolás, when their mom died: “They were very young kids, so much younger than me and my older sister, so even if they hadn’t lost a parent, we would still feel parental toward them. And I didn’t naively think I could fill a space like that, but I just always wanted to be like, I’m here.”
Pascal made the decision to honour his mother by taking on her surname as his stage name.
Elsewhere in the interview, Pascal admitted of hosting “SNL”, “I’m usually not all that interested in challenging myself.”
He came up with a few exceptions, like filming “The Last of Us” for a year in Alberta, as well as starring alongside Nicolas Cage in “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent”.
“’SNL’ was all of those challenges stuffed into one week of my life,” he said, adding: “I could not have had a better time.”