Narcos and Game of Thrones standout Pedro Pascal now stars opposite Denzel Washington in Columbia Pictures’ nail-biting action-thriller The Equalizer 2.
Pascal plays York, one of four former colleagues of Washington’s character, McCall.
In the film, as McCall begins to take vengeance on the people who killed his former handler and adviser – he is brought back in contact with the people who were once closest to him: his former cell of operatives. “They were an operation of five highly skilled individuals tasked with going overseas, killing or kidnapping high value targets,” says screenwriter Richard Wenk. “They are the most skilled assassins on earth. Robert McCall was a part of this team which involved four other men. But after losing his wife, McCall decided he wanted no more of this – and when a car bomb exploded, he took the opportunity to walk away and let the world consider him dead.”
“This was a brotherhood,” says producer Jason Blumenthal. “They saw and did things that most people could never handle. Because of that, these were five guys were willing to die for each other.”
And each member of the group has his own specialty. “Just because you do the same things as others doesn’t mean you have the same skill set,” says Washington. “You may have been trained the same way all boxers are trained, but that doesn’t mean all boxers are all world champions.”
The group of operatives is composed of York, played Pascal, who rose to prominence for his role in “Narcos”; Resnik, played by Jonathan Scarfe (“Van Helsing”), Ari, played by Kazy Tauginas, an up-and-coming actor, and Kovac, played by newcomer Garrett A. Golden.
“Pedro’s read was different than the others because he brought a warmth and a friendship layer to this character that no one else had done,” says Blumenthal.
“York – that’s my character – and McCall were essentially partners back in the day,” says Pascal. “They are a part of a mysterious, elite group of highly trained government soldiers – part of the government’s most hidden elements. He and I were in the same explosion that I survived and he presumably didn’t. York has mourned him for seven years, believing him to be dead. Their connection is one of friendship, one of trust, partnership, mentorship. I would choose it as my character’s deepest relationship.”
Pascal was thrilled by the opportunity to play opposite Washington in a high-intensity thriller. “I would say the incredible appeal of The Equalizer is that you have the ultimate badass actor playing the ultimate badass role,” he says. “He’s a highly trained killer, using that training and that talent for good.”
“It’s very difficult to find somebody to play opposite Denzel Washington,” says Fuqua. “You have to find an actor who can hold is own and is not going to be intimidated.”
Intimidation can come in very different ways. “On my first day on set, I hadn’t met Denzel, and he was kind enough to come to my trailer and introduce himself very early in the morning. We got to chat for a good hour and a half before we started shooting. The scene we shot is the first time my character sees him and processes that McCall is not dead – Denzel filled the moment with a very powerful hug of friendship – not seeing me process the complexity of what it would mean to see him, this most important man in my life – to hide of all of the secrets that could spill from my expression the moment he calls my name.”
In Philippine cinemas August 29, The Equalizer 2 is distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.