Strange Way of Life Trailer: Pedro Almodóvar Directs Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke as Queer Cowboys

Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke don’t know how to quit each other.

The first trailer for Pedro Almodóvar’s “Strange Way of Life,” the Oscar-winning Spanish filmmaker’s neo-Western and second short film in the English language after 2020’s “The Human Voice,” is here. The queer Western stars “Last of Us” and “Mandalorian” favorite Pedro Pascal along with Oscar-nominee Ethan Hawke, working together with Almodóvar for the first time. Almodóvar wrote the film and produced along with his brother Augustin and Saint Laurent head designer Anthony Vaccarello, also working as costumer.

“Strange Way of Life” is set to make its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival this coming May as part of the Official Selection.

In this 30-minute short, Pedro Pascal plays Silva, who rides a horse across the desert to visit his friend, Sheriff Jake (Ethan Hawke), after 25 years apart. However, while they at first celebrate the meeting, Jake reveals to Silva the next morning that there is another reason for their trip, and it isn’t to go down memory lane.

Much of the action takes place in the desert of Spain’s Almeria region, which is where Sergio Leone most famously shot “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” though Almodóvar earlier told IndieWire that he’s not deliberately trying to reference spaghetti Westerns.

The film could be Almodóvar’s answer to “Brokeback Mountain,” a film he was initially circling to direct before moving on from the project over creative differences — namely, that he wanted to make the film much gayer and more sexually explicit.

Of his vision of “Brokeback Mountain,” the filmmaker said, “The relation between these two guys is animalistic. It was a physical relationship. The punch of the movie comes when they have to separate, and Heath Ledger discovers that he can’t think about leaving. That’s a strong discovery. But until that moment, it is animalistic, and for me it was impossible to have that in the movie because it was a Hollywood movie. You could not have these two guys fucking all the time.”

Director Almodóvar confirmed that “Strange Way of Life” is a “queer Western in the sense that there are two men, and they love each other, and they behave in that situation in an opposite way” during podcast “Dua Lipa: At Your Service.”

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