Pedro Pascal talks Pedro Almodóvar gay western

Pedro Pascal Gay Western

Pedro Pascal, in a scene from HBO’s “The Last of Us,” stars in Pedro Almodovar’s upcoming gay western “Strange Way of Life.” Photo: HBO

Pedro Pascal says working with renowned filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar on the director’s gay cowboy movie was an easy decision.

“It could have been anything that he asked me to do, and I would have done it without question,” the Chilean-born actor told “Insider.”

Almodóvar has called “Strange Way of Life,” which also stars Ethan Hawke, his “answer to ‘Brokeback Mountain’.”

“Strange Way of Life” is a 30-minute short film with Hawke and Pascal as two middle-aged gunslingers who reunite after 25 years. One travels across the desert to find the other.

Pedro Pascal told “Insider” that Almodóvar “opened up an entire world of storytelling, color, culture, rebellion, and sexuality that was just absolutely intoxicating, dangerous, hilarious, heartbreaking, and encompassing the whole spectrum, but with such a signature style,” Pascal said of the two-time Oscar winning director.

Pascal also was thrilled to work with his co-star, Hawke.

“To get to work with Ethan, whose movies I’ve seen since I was a little kid, who I’ve seen on stage off-Broadway, on Broadway, whose books I’ve read, whose plays I’ve seen him direct, and big movies, small movies, horror movies,” Pascal said. “It was really an incredible opportunity to go, learn, and to enjoy the experience of being on the level of people like that,” he said. “Taking it all in was incredible.”

In 2005, Almodóvar, who identifies as gay, was approached to direct the Oscar-winning “Brokeback Mountain” before Ang Lee was involved. But the Spanish director turned down the project as he felt it was “too Hollywood.”

“Ang Lee made a wonderful movie, but I never believed that they would give me complete freedom and independence to make what I wanted. Nobody told me that,” Almodovar told IndieWire. “They said, You can do whatever you want, but I knew that there was a limitation.”

“The relation between these two guys is animalistic,” Almodovar continued. “It was a physical relationship. The punch of the movie comes when they have to separate, and Heath Ledger discovers that he can’t think about leaving. That’s a strong discovery. But until that moment, it is animalistic, and for me, it was impossible to have that in the movie because it was a Hollywood movie. You could not have these two guys fucking all the time.”

He says “Strange Way of Life” “could be like my answer to ‘Brokeback Mountain’.”

Hawke and Pascal’s characters live on opposite sides of the desert. 

“So one of them travels through the desert to find the other,” Almodovar told IndieWire. “There will be a showdown between them, but really the story is very intimate.”

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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