When Pedro Pascal started to think about his villainous “Wonder Woman 1984” Max Lord, a name came to mind: Gordon Gekko. Who better to model his battle in a power suit than the embodiment of 1980s greed and harshness?
But director Patty Jenkins had something different in mind about Michael Douglas’ character. (Both say it wasn’t Donald Trump, either.)
“She took me away from that,” Pascal said. “She was like, ‘This is not the polish we’re looking for.'”
It was an agonizing realization for Pascal, who thought he could hide behind the skill of a cold and calculating financier. But it was a call that he ended up loving.
“What we were looking for was so much more unpredictable and exposed,” he said. “The thing that would eventually anchor me to him was way more vulnerable than what a Gordon Gekko guy would be.”
In the film, which debuts in theaters and on HBO Max in the United States on Christmas Day, Max Lord is a divorced father, an underage TV personality, and a budding oil mogul whose wealth is mostly smoke and mirrors until he got hold of a mighty wish. grant the stone.
“He’s an immigrant trying to live up to seeming to be his idea of the American Dream,” Jenkins said.
It was producer Charles Roven, with whom he had worked on “Triple Frontier,” who initially called Pascal saying Jenkins wanted to meet.
“I just loved it. I thought he was a great guy and such an interesting person and a great actor, ”Jenkins said. “But when I was sitting and thinking about who could do it, I just knew they could do it. There was something about Pedro that I knew he could hit each different mark and also reveal a side of himself that I wasn’t sure even him had used yet.
Pascal had long been a fan of Jenkins’ work: he remembers seeing “Monster” in a Manhattan theater and having to wait for the credits to end before leaving because he was crying so hard, and was particularly moved by the sound. sequence of No Man’s Land in “Wonder Woman.” “
Between the two films, they had also crossed paths when Jenkins had directed him in a pilot that was never picked up. So when the opportunity to work with her again presented itself, he knew what her answer was going to be.
“I didn’t care what it was,” Pascal said. “I still have a hard time understanding the opportunity.”
He was, he admitted, a little nervous about the costumes.
“I’m not the type to pull off an 80s look, in my opinion,” Pascal laughs. “I felt like I looked stupid with loose stuff.”
On the 1980s Netflix show “Narcos,” Pascal even pushed for his DEA agent character to wear more 1970s styles. But, he said, Oscar-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming was a “magician” on “Wonder Woman 1984”.
With incredible attention to detail, she created costumes for Max Lord that Pascal said were in turn “garish and sophisticated,” “colorful and elegant,” and “right on the verge of odious.
“It was a fascinating thing,” he said.
Since her casting in “Wonder Woman 1984”, the Pascal star has grown enormously thanks to the hugely popular Star Wars spin-off “The Mandalorian”, which has just concluded its second season on Disney +. He remembers being in talks for the role with Jon Favreau just before flying to London to film “Wonder Woman”.
And while Max Lord and the mysterious Bounty Hunter couldn’t be more different, there is a pretty poignant similarity that is not lost on Pascal.
“Max Lord has such an outer armor with hair products and power suits… which is such a mask with so much stuff right underneath that so contradicts the kind of physical message he portrays with his personality,” said Pascal. “(It’s) kind of like the Mandalorian.
Follow AP screenwriter Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr