Tonight, my friends. Tonight.
A new season of Game of Thrones is finally upon us (thank god), and with it comes with a new major character: Prince Oberyn Martell, played by Pedro Pascal. Having not read the books, I know nothing of Oberyn, other than the fact that my has-read-the-books partner gets this little glint in her eye whenever there’s mention of the Martells. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Pascal talked at length about the challenges of playing this character. To many book lovers, Oberyn’s a favorite. To those who only watch the show, he’s an unfamiliar element entering into a well-established series. I do not envy him this task.
Though very aware of his audience’s high expectations, Pascal is approaching his character with a soft touch, stressing that coming on too strong wouldn’t end well.
The mistake with [Oberyn] would be to play an over-the-top badass, and turn people off. Ultimately, it’s not about being a badass. All of his danger, all of his lust, all of his rage, comes from a very specific emotional truth. It’s all shaped by a specific circumstance…It had to come across as effortless. He’s not trying to prove anything; he’s not there to intimidate — he’s there to do, in his way and only his way. That’s not to be like, “I’m gonna do it my way ’cause i’m just that badass.” It’s “I’m gonna do it my way because that’s the only way I know how to do it.”
Pascal also spoke about Dorne, Oberyn’s homeland, a region often mentioned but as of yet unseen in the show.
Dorne is the punk-rock region of Westeros. We follow the beat of a totally different drum. A woman’s position in Dorne has far more power. They’re much more highly regarded. Even if it’s still shaped by the old conventions that shaped King’s Landing, Oberyn Martell in particular isn’t going to play by any of those rules.
Sounds like there’s going to be some culture clash with the Westerosi. I am all for this.
For the full interview, head this way.
[Editor’s Note: Please start your comment with “SPOILERS” if you intend to discuss the books, so non-readers know to skim past. Thanks!]
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