One of the most profoundly vulnerable moments in Pedro Pascal’s performance across two seasons of The Mandalorian came in last week’s “The Believer,” when, in order to access some key information about Moff Gideon, Din Djarin had to go against the creed he’s known his entire life and show his face to others. But it’s a moment Pedro Pascal doesn’t want to become commonplace.
Speaking recently during an interview on the BBC series The One Show, Pascal discussed rumours that the actor was lobbying for more screen time without Din’s trademark helmet on; in the more outlandish reports, Pascal was supposedly meant to have been considering actually leaving the show over it, which…seemed distinctly untrue even before his rebuttal.
“That is not true, actually,” Pascal said of his alleged desire to get more facetime on screen. “It’s a really wonderful way of telling the story, it’s always been a very clear creed for the character and the collaborative process of the whole thing has been–we’ve all been on the same page with this, so I, you know, what I want is for them to make the best show possible however they get that done.”
It’s nice that Pascal pretty categorically shut those rumours down, because, well, they did seem very silly. The actor has made it clear, as he’s spent more time physically inhabiting Djarin in this season (filming commitments elsewhere during The Mandalorian’s debut season meant Pascal spent less time actually in-costume, providing his voiceover instead), how much of the character is wrapped up in the physicality of being someone who hides their face.
Even in “The Believer,” when Din is alien and distant and made vulnerable by having to take off his helmet in a moment of crisis, Pascal’s performance makes clear that this character has only really known how to look and communicate with people through hidden eyes, and how much of his presence and confidence is wrapped up in that raised barrier between himself and others.
Pascal’s desire to keep those moments rare is interesting, especially considering The Mandalorian has really not given Din the chance to reckon with his discovery earlier this season that the masked creed — something he’s known all his life — is the product of being raised in a fringe cult of Mandalorian terrorists: the Death Watch. When he encounters Bo-Katan and her Nite Owls in “The Heiress,” they speak not of a purged homeworld, but a land waiting to be reclaimed by Mandalorians who freely share their unmasked identities with each other and with strangers. Din learns that there aren’t just more of his people out there, but more of his people who operate in ways radically different to his entire upbringing in his covert.
Arguably it should have had a much larger impact on the character than it has. Since then, the show has not yet followed up on Din’s reaction to Bo-Katan and her fellow Mandalorians at all, which is a shame. But if Pascal’s comments are any indication, it seems that even if the show did follow up at some point, Din’s going to be pretty reticent to opening up to the idea of taking his helmet off among friends…or in front of his kiddo.
The Mandalorian returns for one last chapter in season two this week, but have no fear: today, Disney announced that Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian will return for a one-off behind-the-scenes look at the making of the second season. It’ll air on Disney+ on Christmas Day.