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Pedro Pascal Makes A Surprising Admission About His Wonder Woman 1984 Character

It's a big year for Pedro Pascal. The actor has met Star Wars legends like Bo-Katan, Ahsoka Tano, and Boba Fett as Din Djarin, the title character of the Disney+ series The Mandalorian, and was dubbed one of People's sexiest men alive – and this Christmas, Pascal embarks on his biggest adventure yet. In Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman 1984, Pascal plays Maxwell Lord, an ambitious businessman who hides his villainous intentions behind a friendly public persona.

Longtime fans of DC Comics know Maxwell Lord very well. When the character first appeared in 1987, he was a scheming, amoral entrepreneur who established his very own Justice League — the Justice League International — in order to exert control over the heroes. Later, he developed mind-control abilities and made the jump to full-fledged superhero, forcing Wonder Woman to snap his neck (don't worry, he got better).

While Wonder Woman 1984 features a slightly different take on Lord, Pascal has charisma to spare, and the character is clearly in excellent hands. Still, for Pascal, bringing Lord to the big screen was anything but easy. During a press conference for Wonder Woman 1984, which Looper attended, Pascal admitted that Lord isn't like any character he's played before. Unlike his other roles, there's a lot of the actor's real-life personality inside of the supervillain.

"The scariest thing about this movie for me ... was to do something that is a lot closer to me, at least energetically," Pascal said. "I had to use a lot of myself to do what Patty wanted. And so, it was really scary and thrilling."

After all, as Pascal explained, Maxwell Lord isn't a normal villain, and Jenkins wouldn't settle for anything less than a fully-developed character. When Jenkins is directing, "you can't get away with something that is typical," Pascal noted. "It has to be complete, and have all the risks and all of the danger and ultimately the humanity, no matter how dark of a character it is, to make the experience as honest as possible."

For Pascal, that meant injecting Lord with more of himself than any other character he's played. "I definitely didn't know if I would be able to get there," he said. Thankfully, Pascal had Jenkins by his side: "I owe it to my director. I completely owe it to my director if it worked."

Pedro Pascal wasn't the only actor who was intimidated by their Wonder Woman 1984 role

Like Pascal, Kristen Wiig was also pushed outside of her comfort zone for Wonder Woman 1984. For the most part, the Saturday Night Live alum is known for comedies, not big-budget superhero movies. "I don't really get asked to do those kinds of things," Wiig said during the press conference. "And I was really shocked and happy — and, of course, felt extra pressure when I signed on."

In addition, just as she did for Pascal, Jenkins had big expectations for Wiig, and pushed the actress to make Barbara Ann Minerva, also known as Cheetah, as fully realized as possible. "I kind of second what Pedro said," Wiig shared. "We didn't want it to be this typical mousy-girl-turned-villain. What is it about her that makes her so lonely and so invisible, and then what does she really want?"

Cheetah deserves no less. Since her first appearance in Wonder Woman #6, the character — who has undergone a few major identity shifts since her 1943 debut — has been one of Wonder Woman's best-known and most formidable villains. The current incarnation, and the one that Wiig is playing, began as one of Wonder Woman's most trusted allies and best friends — only to turn into a supervillain when she uncovers an old Amazonian relic and is transformed into the "Goddess of the Hunt."

That might be new ground for Wiig, but she came to set ready to learn. "I'm a superhero geek," she said. "I see all the movies. I'm at the theater. I've seen all of them. I was obsessed with the first one." That doesn't mean that Barbara Ann sprung forth from her imagination fully formed, though. "I could visualize what I didn't want it to be more than what I did want it to be," Wiig admitted. "Like Pedro said, it was very scary."

But also like Pascal, Wiig had the perfect woman standing by her side: Patty Jenkins. "That I got a chance to be a villain and that Patty believed that I could do it, it was an amazing life experience for me," said Wiig. "I felt very taken care of, and it was an amazing, scary, but fun experience for me."

Wonder Woman 1984 arrives in theaters and on the HBO Max streaming service on December 25, 2020.