[WATCH] Pedro Pascal (‘Narcos’): Pablo Escobar is ‘a villain and a saint’

“The first thing that occurred to me, was that it would not be an easy shoot,” admits Pedro Pascal as we chat via webcam (watch above) about his Netflix series “Narcos.” He plays DEA agent Javier Pena who is hot on the trail of drug lord Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura). As he explains, “We would have to do it in Columbia.”

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The actor regards his character as “a little more comfortable playing from the shadows. He wants to get the job done but he wants to get it done quietly. A lot of it isn’t on the page, I have to find a way to give that life.” To that end, he welcomed “moments of levity that show you can find moments of humor in this dark world these characters are existing in.”

Pascal talks candidly about the challenges of working on a series with “history that’s breathing down our necks cause it’s really quite recent.” As he discovered, “a guy like Escobar is remembered as a villain before he is remembered as a human being. Yet there are contradictions to that impression while you are there.”

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He was surprised to find, “there are people who would very much defend what he did for his community. There are very frightening portraits of the man in everyone’s memory but also other saintly ones. This is a man who built museums and schools and gave a lot back to his community  with the billions of dollars he was making in the cocaine industry.”

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