‘The Mandalorian’: John Wayne’s Grandson Brendan Wayne Plays a Key Role on the Show

The Mandalorian premiered on Disney+ in November 2019. Pedro Pascal plays Din Djarin, the main character of the popular Star Wars series. While Pascal provides the iconic voice of Din, John Wayne‘s grandson Brendan Wayne is one of Pascal’s body doubles and often dons the iconic Mandalorian costume onscreen.

A joined photo of John Wayne and Pedro Pascal in The Mandalorian
(L-R) John Wayne and Pedro Pascal as ‘The Mandalorian | Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images; © 2020 Lucasfilm Ltd.

John Wayne’s grandson is the main character’s body double on ‘The Mandalorian’

Before his death in 1979, John Wayne was known for his roles in Stagecoach, True Grit, and The Longest Day. To this day, John Wayne is still heralded as one of the greatest actors in the history of Hollywood, particularly when it comes to classic Western movies.

Brendan Wayne has followed in his grandfather’s footsteps, and since 2019 he has played a major part in the success of The Mandalorian on Disney+.

Because Pascal has a busy filming schedule with multiple projects, he mainly provided the voice for Din in season 1 of The Mandalorian while Brendan Wayne played the physical character.

“My agent said, ‘You won’t be the voice,’ and I said, ‘I don’t care. What am I doing though? I do not want to sit around. Get me going — let me run into a wall, whatever you want. Throw me from a building — totally fine. You know, hurt me, but don’t make me sit around all day,'” Brendan Wayne said in a 2019 interview with Vulture.

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Brendan Wayne took inspiration from John Wayne on ‘The Mandalorian’

While going through screen tests for The Mandalorian, Brendan Wayne decided to channel his grandfather’s famous mannerisms.

“I noticed that in the screen test that they wanted a very Western kind of feel. So I just slowed everything down. All my walks, everything. It’s about your core. I know it’s gonna sound like a workout video, but it’s about just holding the strength of your core,” Brendan Wayne told Vulture.

He continued, “My grandfather was so graceful, even though he was a six-foot-five, 260-pound guy, and it was because he was so strong. It allowed him to move in a certain way. Plus he had tiny feet. He was six-feet-five-inches and his feet were as big as mine, which are 10s. And so he walked with his toes, like a dancer. So I picked it up. It was really fun to find that pacing.”

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Pedro Pascal and Brendan Wayne worked on the character together

Because Din’s physicality is modeled after Brendan Wayne’s interpretation, Pascal was told to follow Brendan Wayne’s lead when physically acting as Din in the suit.

“Well, you know, hopefully I gave him as much of a break as he possibly needed, because he was working on, I think, three things at the time. I can’t remember. But I saw him frequently. The funny thing is, I think it was harder for him, because they really wanted a certain walk that came natural to me,” Brendan Wayne said in his interview with Vulture.

The actor continued, “And so Pedro had to ask me certain questions, because I guess they would say, ‘Talk to Brendan and see what he says.’ Almost all of [the doubles], they had to come watch me walk — I think there were four at the end of it. And I did a lot of work to be able to walk like I did in the sand and not look like a drunk sailor.”

Pascal spent more time in the Mandalorian suit during season 2 of The Mandalorian, but Brendan Wayne was still a necessary part of season 2 of The Mandalorian and the Disney+ series The Book of Boba Fett.

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