Fresh off his performance as the gruff smuggler Joel in HBO's acclaimed The Last of Us adaptation, and in the midst of his third season playing The Mandalorian 's titular gunslinger, Pedro Pascal has found his next outlaw role in the upcoming western film Strange Way of Life, co-starring Ethan Hawke.
Written and directed by Academy Award-winning auteur Pedro Almodóvar, Strange Way of Life is a 30-minute short film slated to debut at the Cannes Film Festival in May. The movie follows a gunslinger named Silva (Pascal), who crosses the desert on horseback to reunite with his friend Sheriff Jake (Hawke) after 25 years apart.
Filmed in Spain's Almería desert region -- where the 1966 classic The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, starring Clint Eastwood as the legendary Man with No Name, was filmed -- Strange Way of Life has all the trappings of classic western fare, but with a modern twist.
"It has gunslingers, it has the ranch, it has the sheriff," Almodóvar teased in an appearance on Dua Lipa's At Your Service podcast. "It has the town, it has the showdown, but what it has that most westerns don't have is the kind of dialogue that I don't think a western film has ever captured between two men."
"This is a queer western in the sense that there are two men, and they love each other," Almodóvar continued. "It's about masculinity in that deep sense."
While plot details are being kept under wraps, it sounds like Strange Way of Life is a queer cowboy romance, joining the likes of 2005's Brokeback Mountain and 2021's The Power of the Dog. Almodóvar is keeping mum on the details, but in a 2022 interview with IndieWire, the director referred to the western as his "answer to Brokeback Mountain" -- which, incidentally, Almodóvar almost directed back in 2005.
Both Pascal and Hawke are well-versed in cowboy, or cowboy-adjacent, fare. In addition to his starring role as the bounty hunter-turned Baby Yoda caretaker in Star Wars' The Mandalorian, Pascal played the lasso-wielding Agent Whiskey in 2017's Kingsman: The Golden Circle. For his part, Hawke has starred in a handful of popular westerns, including The Kid (2019), The Magnificent Seven (2016), and In the Valley of Violence (2016).
Speaking of the dynamic between Pascal's gunslinger and Hawke's sheriff, Almodóvar offered one particularly juicy morsel to chew on:
"One of them travels through the desert to find the other," the director said. "There will be a showdown between them, but really the story is very intimate."
A Pedro Pascal-Ethan Hawke standoff in a dusty western town? May can't come soon enough.
READ MORE: '1923' Star Helen Mirren Corrects Pedro Pascal on the Proper Way to Say 'Lasso'
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