Playing a villain in a superhero blockbuster is not an easy job, and Pascal’s comments indicate that as such. Pascal is known as a versatile actor, playing good and bad guys left and right, but it seems that portraying a character like Maxwell Lord proved to be a challenge for him, as evidenced by his unique preparation while reading the script.
While speaking with Variety, Wonder Woman 1984 actor Pedro Pascal reflected on the initial moment that he was offered the role of Maxwell Lord by the film’s director, Patty Jenkins:
“It was a f—ing offer. I wasn’t really grasping that Patty wanted to talk to me about a part that I was going to play, not a part that I needed to get. I wasn’t able to totally accept that.”
Additionally, Pascal shared his working experience with Jenkins when they shot a TV pilot that wasn’t picked up, admitting that he “didn’t even know” that the acclaimed director remembered him from that one. Despite that, Jenkins pointed out that Pascal “didn’t need him to prove anything” for her while revealing that she “just loved the idea of him:”
Pascal: “I didn’t even know she remembered me from that.”
Jenkins: “I worked with him, so I knew him.I didn’t need him to prove anything for me. I just loved the idea of him, and I thought he would be kind of unexpected, because he doesn’t scream ‘villain.’”
Interestingly, Variety revealed that Pascal transformed his Wonder Woman 1984 script into “a kind of pop-art scrapbook filled with blown-up photocopies” of Maxwell Lord from the comics, with one page featuring the villain surrounded by text bubbles where the actor wrote “You are a f—ing piece of s—.”
Pascal then admitted that the idea of playing the villain had “[woke] myself up again in a big way:”
“I felt like I had wake myself up again in a big way. This was just a practical way of, like, instead of going home tired and putting Netflix on, [I would] actually deal with this physical thing, doodle and think about it and run it.”
Even Jenkins thought that the casting of Pascal as Maxwell Lord would change the career of the actor, pointing out that she would never cast the actor “as just the stoic, quiet guy:”
“I would never cast him as just the stoic, quiet guy. I almost think he’s unrecognizable from ‘Narcos’ to ‘Wonder Woman.’ Wouldn’t even know that was the same guy. But I think that may change.”
This goes to show the dedication of the actor in terms of being accustomed to the role of the DC villain. Still, the belief and assurance of Wonder Woman 1984 director Patty Jenkins for Pascal proved to be essential in terms of enhancing his performance for the role.