In Touch (USA)
Pedro Pascal’s UNTOLD STORY
How the star of HBO’s hit The Last of Us overcame unimaginable tragedy
He got choked up talking about it. “I was born in Chile, and nine months later my parents fled Pinochet and brought me and my sister to the U.S.,” an emotional Pedro Pascal said in his Saturday Night Live monologue on Feb. 4. “They were so brave, and without them I wouldn’t be standing here.”
He’s come a long way. “Pedro hasn’t always had it easy,” a source says of the actor, who rose to fame with his breakthrough role as the vengeful, passionate Red Viper on Game of Thrones in 2014. He’s currently starring on the HBO hit The Last of Us, as well as Disney+’s The
Mandalorian. “His story is full of twists and turns, but it’s made him a stronger person. He’s incredibly grateful to those who’ve supported him along the way.”
Especially his family. After escaping Chile, his parents, Verónica Pascal and Jose Balmaceda, a prominent fertility doctor, settled with their kids in Texas. When Pedro was 11, the family moved to Orange County, Calif. “There were two really rough years — a lot of bullying,” recalls Pedro, who found solace in movies. By 1993, he was studying acting in NYC.
Two years later, his life changed again dramatically. Jose was accused of ethical violations, including transplanting eggs without patients’ consent. He abruptly moved back to Chile with Victoria and Pedro’s younger siblings. (Pedro has defended his father. In 2022, Jose, who’s denied any medical wrongdoing, pleaded guilty to tax fraud.) But the scandal took a toll. In 1999, Verónica died by suicide. “[She] had a personality disorder that really flourished and ended with this tragedy,” Jose said.
After Verónica’s death, Pedro took her last name. “She would be so proud of him,” says the source. “He’s such a nice guy — no one is more deserving of success.” ◼