I have always been a huge fan of podcasts, I have listened to podcasts as far back at 2008 I think it was although I never really listened to them until a few years later. My first real introduction to the world of podcasts was when I was in my last year of university and had to spend hours in the classroom with two of my friends working on our coursework into the very early hours of the morning. It would just be the three of us, myself, Matt and Tom and whilst we were working, the podcasts of The Ricky Gervais show was blasting out into the room. It was in the moment I realised that podcasts can create so much comedy and can really sort of act like a ‘best friend.’ It also sort of created a special bonding moment between the three of us and I am still very much close friends with them today.
Over the years, I have learnt that podcasts can really be so much more then the ‘laugh’ and whilst I do listen to a lot of podcasts to help get me through the tough days, the good days and the times I have to work through the night, I also have found that it can be so much more.
Over the years, the idea of what a podcast is has obviously developed, especially with the pandemic and so many more have arisen and so much more content is now available and in a saturated market it can be hard to find really good shows. I have learnt that sometimes episodes of certain podcasts can really have an effect and over time I have shown my appreciation for these episodes on my social media channels.
However, I came across an episode the other day that was so good that it inspired this whole feature and I felt like I needed to write about it. I never really had that feeling before about podcast episodes but it was so strong that I felt like I need to look at all the podcasts I have listened to and actually write about my favourites. So welcome to a new podcast feature and to start with, we are going to start with the episode that inspired the whole feature…
Podcast Episodes That Changed My Life –
Episode: Pedro Pascal: A Life Of Dreaming,
Podcast: Talk Easy With Sam Fragoso
For me, Pedro Pascal was an actor that sort of appeared out of nowhere for me in lockdown – my very first memory of him was that he was the Mandalorian – I wasn’t sure that I wanted to commit to another Star Wars show as I was so annoyed by the last three films that it was a long time until I gave this show a try. Everyone started to talk about something called ‘Baby Yoda’ and then the memes appeared and I thought by about episode three or four (the one where Grogu drinking coffee gif appeared) that I should give it a try. I ended up being really pleasantly surprised how good the show was and it put my faith back into what the Star Wars universe could be.
“…It is a very strong thing to say that a ‘podcast episode changed your life’ but in some ways, I have to say this episode did for a number of reasons...”
However, whilst watching this, I still had no idea who Pedro Pascal was – I hadn’t watched Game Of Thrones as it was not my type of show and I had not seen Narcos so when I saw the cast, I had no idea where the actor had come from. As soon as the trailer for The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent was released, I remembered sharing it as thought the concept was so random but did not pay attention that the actor Pedro Pascal was in this.
The second time that I really ‘paid’ attention to Mr Pascal was when I saw an interview with him and Oscaar Isaac for Wired Magazine. I was searching Oscaar online, I cannot remember why, it was either due to watching all of the Star Wars films (after a long time of debating whether to watch anymore after the seventh film) or after being blown away by Moon Knight ( a show I never thought I would like and it ended up being one of my favourites due to his superb acting) and I wanted to find out other films etc he had been in as I am fascinated by that sort of thing. Again, Pedro was there and whilst he made the interview with Oscaar glisten seeing their friendship on the screen, it was another time where the actor sort of was there but I did not really ‘pay attention’ so to speak.
If you are living in late 2022 or 2023 you must of been living under a rock not to of have heard of who Pedro is as the internet has blown up with the amount of videos, interviews, memes of the actor. The ‘phenomenon’ of Pedro Pascal started to be slightly obvious to me when I saw the news that he was cast in the Last of Us – I knew that if they created that show right, then it would be a big deal as the games are huge and I knew there would be a lot of buzz about it. The time that I really started to see the whole internet blow up was around the time that it was announced that he was due to host SNL.
“I don’t tend to get lumps in my throats when I listen to podcasts (especially when it is an actor / actress talking about life) but the podcast episode it so honest, and raw at times that you can feel the passion, feelings and emotions…”
After The Last of Us debut and the SNL episode happened, my social media pages went mental, everywhere I turned there was clips of the actor when I had not even searched him and just appeared all the time in my feeds. I did not follow him on social, I really enjoyed the Mandalorian and I didn’t really follow his other work but then the videos on social just did not stop appearing.
The first lot of videos were of clips of The Last of Us, memes from the film The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent then it started to be various fan videos of photos in a montage, then it was dancing and then the whole ‘internet daddy’ thing. I had no idea what an earth all that meant and so I started to find myself clicking through things to see what it was all about ( I work in Media, hey it is what I do! I am a nosey rosey and also I was very intrigued…. I am still not sure if I get the whole ‘Daddy thing’ but that is the internet for you).
“…The thing that I really loved about this episode was that it felt like a conversation between friends and due to the soft talking of both the presenter Sam and Pedro it meant that it felt more personal at times….”
Through this venture and then through things such as the SNL clips that were appearing online, I started to become interested, especially when the press tour of the UK to promote The Mandalorian happened as even more content started to appear in my feed. At first, it was just watching the odd clip of interviews such as the food taste one for LADBible, then maybe the odd clip of the chilli tasting for Hot Ones and then I started to become really interested in the media tour and started to watch the interviews in full, even ones from months ago such as the Lie Detector test for Vanity Fair. It was starting to become obvious that the reason why Pedro interviewed so well was because he had a really strong sense of humour, didn’t take himself too seriously and was very ‘meme-able’.
However, I. Got. Bored.
Whilst these were great ‘content’ and it was obvious just how well the media outlets have come up with so many inventive ways to interview an actor, I wanted to know the real stuff – I didn’t want to know anymore about Grogu or why people are so obsessed with calling him ‘Daddy’ or watch memes of him eating a sandwich (I am still not sure why that is used so much). I wanted to know more about growing up in Chile, LA and NYC, developing a career and how he became the actor that he is today. Especially since there was more and more posts arising of all the small parts he had played over the years on various shows. That is how I stumbled across the podcast Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso.
I searched Spotify for ages trying to find the ‘right’ podcast episode I wanted to listen to – with someone like Pedro, there surprisingly was not that many as a lot of them were tied into the press for The Last of Us and there is one where he speaks to two cartoon dogs which is one of the most random interviews I have ever heard in my life. Fortunately, I ended up finding this episode and decided to listen to it on a long day of flying that I had ahead of me.
“…After that The Last of Us debut and the SNL episode happened, my social media pages went mental, everywhere I turned there was clips of the actor when I had not even searched him and just appeared all the time in my feeds…”
I wasn’t sure what to expect at first from the podcast, as I had never heard it before however the description reeled me in as it was from before the times of Last of Us and was meant to be ‘focussed’ initially on the up and coming film The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. Yes, this still had ‘press and promotion’ that I was trying to avoid but it did not go on for very long and from very early on the podcast took a completely different turn which made this an unforgettable interview for me.
Pedro Pascal: A Life Of Dreaming is an episode that has a real emotional detail attached and I really adored the fact that it went into depth of the actor growing up and the struggles of life and trying to become an actor. The thing that I really loved about this episode was that it felt like a conversation between friends and due to the soft talking of both the presenter Sam and Pedro it meant that it felt more personal at times. This to me felt incredibly refreshing as it did not feel edited and it felt a lot less stylised as a whole which made it feel more real.
I am a video editor by trade so sometimes for me, I prefer things a bit more pulled back so that I can really see or hear the person beneath. A lot of these promotional interviews that were now around was due to the fact the actor has been thrown so vividly into the limelight, so they appeal for all. I felt that this particular interview felt a lot more ‘indie’ which was great because you get to hear the sense of realness, the person behind the ‘fame’ without all the commercial questions, thirst trap questions or the questions deliberately asked to create the next ‘social media hit.’
“… I spent a lot of my time pushing myself, constantly with music in my headphones listening to lyrics like a religion listening to the words of others and making them relate to me and using them to force me to carry on…”
The thing I think that really stood out to me in this episode is that there are some really emotional sections, I don’t tend to get lumps in my throats when I listen to podcasts (especially when it is an actor / actress talking about life) but the podcast episode it so honest, and raw at times that you can feel the passion, feelings and emotions especially when talking about family that it makes it a whole different sort of podcast episode that I have never heard before and felt incredibly honest.
From listening to this podcast, it becomes obvious as to why the actor is really soaking up the world and media attention of the ‘star’ he has become and the names the internet has made for him as it took a long time to get to this place that he probably should of got to a very long time ago as he is a very good actor. The most amazing thing is, this interview happened nearly a year ago before everything has got bigger and it is still an amazing thing to listen to.
“…It was starting to become obvious that the reason why Pedro interviewed so well was because he had a really strong sense of humour, didn’t take himself too seriously and was very ‘meme-able’...
It is a very strong thing to say that a ‘podcast episode changed your life’ but in some ways, I have to say this episode did for a number of reasons. Firstly, it made me want to write about it. I love writing and anything that makes you sit there with your phone out in an airport boarding queue writing all your emotions down so you do not forget how you felt in that moment is a very important thing to me as it made me feel passionate about something I love.
The reason that this episode made me feel passionate is because it was inspiring, anyone who comes across as a hard worker and dedicated to becoming something has always been such a huge an inspiration to me as I am the same sort of person and hearing others being passionate about their art form is such an exciting thing. Hearing the hard work others have had to go through can make it feel relatable and that life can always be a struggle, even if you feel it is just happening to you.
This episode changed my life in this aspect because it made me realise emotions that some podcasts can make you have – it can bring out a sense of realness of a person and it can really speak to the masses in a different way to other media forms. All the videos I was watching of Pedro were great and really entertaining but they are stylised to fit into the branding of the said magazine or media outlet. There are things that obviously come across as true but at times it is wrapped up in a neat bow and a social media option to like.
I think the reason why this podcast episode hit home to me was that I remember the struggles I had when I first tried to get into what I wanted to do in the broadcast industry. It was such a hard struggle and trying to keep positive to me was incredibly hard but also important at the same time. I kept fighting, pushing, trying to not let the negativity of rejection of big jobs get me down.
I did any of the smaller jobs I could do to even try and get a taste of the job I wanted and it was really difficult. I had friends in the same boat that quit very early on but I spent a lot of my time pushing myself, constantly with music in my headphones listening to lyrics like a religion listening to the words of others and making them relate to me and using them to force me to carry on. I spent the whole time like I am sure a lot of other creative people, not committing to life in other areas such as love, buying a house etc because I was desperate to get into the job I always wanted.
Then the moment came when one person decided to give me the chance of a lifetime and it changed my life. I was able to do what I loved and the struggle made it so worth it. I do wonder if this is why at times it made me emotional to listen to this episode because it had things I could relate to. Listening to the struggles that he had to become an actor really related to how I was when I got into television, I didn’t personally know anyone in the industry and it was always about trying to fight and prove your worth as an editor.
When I was in my early twenties, I had a few friends that were actors and I know a lot of them have had to give up with the journey as it is too difficult to sometimes break into the industry which was heartbreaking to them but they had to make those decisions. One of my old friends from Latvia has fought for his career and whilst he is not an actor he changed directions to become a Director and has won awards for his work which is so lovely to hear and again it made me remember him when I listened to this podcast episode. (Read about Walter Mirkss work here ) .
I think the last thing that I really learnt from this podcast was to try and ’embrace’ the journey to whatever it is you are meant to be doing in life. I am at that point where I am not sure what I want to do next and feel a constant block, like a writer’s block and listening to this podcast has sort of clicked the reset button on myself. I am now trying to live more in the moment and enjoy myself and try and embrace life instead of do what every creative person does, be hard on themselves, constantly looking for the next exciting project and get very hard on themselves when they don’t achieve what they want. Listening to this podcast episode has sort of made me remember to believe in myself and my creative mind.
I wouldn’t say that this podcast changed my opinion on Pedro Pascal as I did not know that much about him before I began, only that he danced a lot, liked to have fun on promoting films and that the internet loved him. I will say though, that this episode has made me gain huge respect for him, I feel I am now a fan for the right reasons and so glad he got to where he has today in his acting. Hard work and dedication shows it pays off. Also, if he had not done so well in his career, I would not of had the opportunity to listen to such a humble and wonderful conversation for an hour in my headphones as I waited for a plane that had been delayed.
If you are looking for a podcast episode that is all of these things, listen to it, it is a fascinating listen and thank you to Sam Fragoso for bringing such a great interview to the ear.
Categories: Feature, Film, Film Feature, Podcast, Podcast Episodes That Changed My Life
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