Pedro Pascal retells his family’s harrowing immigration story

Pedro Pascal has become one of Hollywood’s most popular and beloved figures, but his journey to this point couldn’t have been possible without his parents’ harrowing journey from their home country of Chile.

The Last of Us actor appeared on this week’s episode of the Smartless podcast, where he told the story in detail of how he and his family became political refugees in the ’70s after being forced to flee former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet’s rule.

Pascal said that his parents were “young, liberal college students” at the time, and that while they weren’t “revolutionaries by any stretch of the imagination,” his mother’s first cousin was “very involved in the opposition movement against the military regime.”

He went on to say that a victim of a gunfight – one that his parents were not involved in – was taken to his home so his father, who was doing a residency at a local hospital, could help “tend to the wound.”

His parents also agreed to “hide” the person “for a while.”

Pascal, who was only four months old at the time, said he was told that the person who brought the victim to their home was then “taken into custody and tortured – and gave names.”

“They came looking for my parents, and so then my parents had to go into hiding for about six months,” he said, adding that his parents eventually found a way to physically climb over the wall of the Venezuelan embassy in Santiago and “demand asylum.”

“And it worked,” he said.

Pascal and his family were granted asylum in Denmark before they immigrated to the United States. His parents raised him and his siblings in both Texas and Southern California.

The Game of Thrones actor credits his parents for the success he is enjoying today, a sentiment he touched upon in his Saturday Night Live monologue in February, when he said that they were “so brave.”

“Without them, I wouldn’t be in this wonderful country and I certainly wouldn’t be standing here with you all tonight.”