In order to get a feel of how to play a larger than life villain, he transformed his script into a pop-art scrapbook featuring pictures of the character taken from the comic books, adding text bubbles containing his lines.
"I felt like I had wake myself up again in a big way," he tells Variety of his unorthodox approach. "This was just a practical way of, like, instead of going home tired and putting Netflix on, (I would) actually deal with this physical thing, doodle and think about it and run it."
Director Patty Jenkins, who worked with Pedro on an unaired 2015 TV pilot, "Exposed", had no qualms about casting the usually reserved actor in a cartoonish part.
"I didn't need him to prove anything for me," she adds. "I just loved the idea of him, and I thought he would be kind of unexpected, because he doesn't scream 'villain.' "
"I would never cast him as just the stoic, quiet guy," Jenkins says. "I almost think he's unrecognizable from Narcos (TV series) to Wonder Woman. Wouldn't even know that was the same guy. But I think that may change."
"Wonder Woman 1984" is scheduled for release on Christmas Day (25Dec20).