“Succession” actor Kieran Culkin channeled his inner Roman Roy when he won Sunday night at the Golden Globes, taunting fellow nominee Pedro Pascal from the the Beverly Hilton stage.
And Pascal’s on-air reaction? A memefied version of himself.
When Culkin took to the stage, grabbing the award for male actor in a television series — drama, he nervously exclaimed, “Oh, nightmare,” laughed at his own burp and “indigestion,” and joked that he had “blown it already.” Then, Culkin seemed to veer his speech toward a more wholesome tone, admitting that even though he had been nominated four other times at the Globes — three for “Succession” and once in 2003 for the film “Igby Goes Down” — he said he had “accepted I was never going to be on this stage.”
“So this is a nice moment,” he said, looking down. Then he raised his head toward Pascal, and hurled his insult: “Suck it, Pedro.”
The audience laughed as Culkin clutched his award and sheepishly exclaimed, “Mine.”
While the laughter continued, the broadcast cameras fixed onto a closeup of Pascal, who wore a shoulder brace to the awards show because of an apparent fall. His face morphed from laughter to a cartoonish frown to dramatic sobbing. The “Last of Us” and “Mandalorian” actor’s jest was likely a reference to his own meme — a GIF — that shows Pascal making the same dramatic transformation between joy and grief. The moment originated from a 2020 benefit reading series during which Pascal and other actors, such as Paul Giamatti, virtually performed a reading of the play, “I, My Ruination,” according to Know Your Meme.
During his press tour for HBO‘s “The Last of Us,” Pascal produced a series of charming moments that went viral and were turned into memes. And Pascal is aware of his Internet fame. In various interviews, he has spoken openly about becoming the Internet’s “Daddy” or “Zaddy,” a label likely stemming from his masculine sex appeal and his popular paternal characters, such as his Joel and Mandalorian roles.
Culkin and Pascal even shared a laugh about their various daddy roles during a Hollywood Reporter “Actors Roundtable” last year.
And at the Golden Globes, Pascal’s on-air memefication was as fleeting as the internet itself, lasting just three seconds. But it managed to become a much-needed highlight in an awards show, known as Hollywood’s biggest party, that nearly ceased to exist just several years ago.
Culkin’s win was one of four for “Succession,” which took the trophy in nearly every category it was nominated in — including acting wins from Matthew Macfadyen and Sarah Snook — a near sweep of the television drama awards. In the fourth and final season of the HBO drama, viewers saw a different dimension to Culkin’s Roman as the character navigated a tragic loss in his family and the subsequent decision on whether to sell the family company to an egomaniacal tech magnate.