One of the most talked about selections at this year’s Cannes Film Festival was Pedro Almodovar’s gay western short film, “Strange Way of Life.”  Supported by the French fashion house Saint Laurent, the short film starred Ethan Hawke and our very own Pedro Pascal.

“Strange Way of Life” had its world premiere attracting a sold-out audience at the Théâtre Claude Debussy at the Festival.

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However, to the surprise of many, Pascal was absent, but for a very good reason.

Pedro Pascal’s commitment to be the new Gladiator

Although many were the rumors, no one knew exactly why Pedro Pascal was not at Cannes with the rest of the cast of “Strange Way of Life.”

The only one who knew was the director, Pedro Almodóvar, and the reason left us more curious than before.

In an interview, Almodóvar explained that Pascal’s absence was directly related to his commitment to another project.

It turns out that Pedro Pascal is currently undergoing a rigorous diet and exercise regimen in preparation for his role in Ridley Scott’s upcoming film, “Gladiator,” the sequel to Russell Crowe’s 1992 megahit.

“He’s in a tough physical process now because he has a very important role in ‘Gladiator 2.’ I thought he would be cast as an emperor or something like Joaquin Phoenix (role in the first film). But no, he’s a gladiator, so he has to have a six-pack,” Almodóvar explained in an interview with Spanish show La Script.

After all, developing a six-pack at 48 is no easy task.

Nevertheless, the actor took a break for something much more important

Despite his arduous regimen for his upcoming project, Pascal took a short break to attend his sister Lux Pascal’s graduation ceremony. During the New York’s Julliard School of the Arts event, Pascal celebrated with his family and took selfies with other graduates.

While we would have loved to see photos of Pascal at the premiere of “Strange Way of Life,” her decision is even more intriguing.

We can only wonder: Is the world ready for Pedro Pascal’s Gladiator body?