Click Here to See Pedro Pascal’s Sword

Start your masturbatory engines, shes, theys, and gays; new stills from Gladiator II just dropped.

Click Here to See Pedro Pascal’s Sword

On Monday—cruelly, one day after Pride month concluded—Vanity Fair published an exclusive first look at Ridley Scott’s Gladiator sequel starring Pedro Pascal and Paul Mescal. The preview features a lengthy summation of the plot, some behind-the-scenes casting details, and interviews with Scott and both of his stars. But who gives a shit about any of that, right? We’re all here for the gallery. Start your masturbatory engines, she’s, they’s, and gays.

First up we have Mescal—who portrays Lucius, a warrior fighting for his life and his land—going head to glorious head with Pascal’s Marcus Acacius, a Roman general who razed it. Though I couldn’t care less who’s winning, it very much appears as if it’s Mescal—his arm raised in defiance as a disarmed Pascal grimaces. They’re grimy, sweaty, overgrown with hair, and wielding swords. What more can be said? All those delicious morsels of machismo are enough to make me, a bisexual woman, doubt the fifty percent of me that’s a little fruity.

Then, there’s a lot of solo shots of Mescal—a harbinger for Pascal’s demise, perhaps? He sifts sand through his hands, does something violent while shirtless, and stands triumphantly in an arena where I have to assume he kills a bunch of men. Of Mescal, his co-star remarked that he would, and I quote: “rather be thrown from a building than have to fight him again.” Excuse me, I have to go dump a cooler of Gatorade on myself and furiously [redacted] now.

“It’s brutal, man. I call him Brick Wall Paul,” Pascal told Vanity Fair. “He got so strong. I would rather be thrown from a building than have to fight him again. To go up against somebody that fit and that talented and that much younger….Outside of Ridley being a total genius, Paul is a big reason as to why I would put my poor body through that experience.” My poor body is quite literally begging to be put through this experience, frankly.

Mescal, meanwhile, is remarkably more humble about his capabilities.

“I just wanted to be big and strong and look like somebody who can cause a bit of damage when shit hits the fan,” he told the magazine. “I think also, sometimes, one could, in striving for that perfect look, end up looking more like an underwear model than a warrior.” The fact that he wound up passing for either is just an added bonus, really.


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Speaking of added bonuses: Denzel Washington (and a gold hoop earring) also co-star in the film and its release date is just in time for Thanksgiving weekend. Now, if I were crude, I’d absolutely make a joke about any of this film’s leading men stuffing me like a turkey here but I’m not, so, you’re welcome.

Of his dramatic transformation for the role, Mescal said all that strength training had an effect far beyond just his physique: “It has an impact on you psychologically in a way that is useful for the film.”

We have so much in common! I, too, anticipate being psychologically impacted by the sight of his muscles in this movie.

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