Sarah Paulson Recalls Giving Pedro Pascal Money From Her Acting Jobs 'to Feed Himself'

Pedro Pascal and Sarah Paulson
Andrew Morales/Variety/Penske Media via Getty Images

Pascal and Paulson look back on their three decades of friendship.

Pedro Pascal may be one of Hollywood's most talked-about stars -- amid buzzworthy roles on The Last of Us and The Mandalorian -- but there was a time when he was a struggling actor leaning on financial help from friends. 

In a new cover story for Esquire, Pascal and Sarah Paulson look back on their three decades of friendship and recall a time when Paulson gave Pascal money "to feed himself." 

"He’s talked about this publicly, but there were times when I would give him my per diem from a job I was working on so that he could have money to feed himself," Paulson says. 

"We would go to see movies all the time in those years," Paulson says, "and we would get so lost in them. You can fill in the blanks about the why of that however you like, but I think there were things we wanted to escape mentally, emotionally, spiritually."

The longtime friends met in 1993 when they were both students at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. After college, Pascal moved to Los Angeles and landed minor TV roles on Buffy the Vampire SlayerTouched by an Angel and Undressed. However, he was struggling to support himself financially and was starting to give up on his dream of making it in the industry. 

Reflecting on this period of his life, and the hopelessness he was experiencing, Pascal says, "I died so many deaths. My vision of it was that if I didn’t have some major exposure by the time I was 29 years old, it was over, so I was constantly readjusting what it meant to commit my life to this profession, and giving up the idea of it looking like I thought it would when I was a kid. There were so many good reasons to let that delusion go."

Now, Pascal has much to be excited about. In addition to his roles on The Last of Us and The Mandalorian, Pascal's upcoming short film is set to premiere next month at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival. 

"You just want him to succeed," Paulson tells Esquire. "And that to me, I feel like, is the sign of a major movie star. I’m ready for him to take the reins from the guys from romantic comedies past, like Bruce Willis and Mel Gibson and all these guys. He can be all that. Let’s remake Die Hard with Pedro. Remake all the Lethal Weapon movies with Pedro."

Paulson also weighed in on the internet dubbing Pascal a "Daddy," which, of course, escalated his superstar status.   

"Knowing Pedro as intimately as I do, I would not want him to be my daddy, personally," she jokes. "I want him to be my pal that I can hang out with until all hours of the night, but Daddy?"