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The Last Of Us' Pedro Pascal Set An Intentional Boundary With The Video Game

Pedro Pascal has made a habit of popping up in some of pop culture's biggest hits over the past decade, from playing the cunning Oberyn Martell in "Game of Thrones" to the titular bounty hunter in "The Mandalorian." It appears he'll continue this trend as Joel in HBO's TV adaptation of Naughty Dog's much beloved 2013 video game, "The Last of Us." Its critical praise and massive popularity made it one of gaming's biggest hits in the 2010s — earning it a sequel, a remaster, and a remake (via Vice) — and Pascal is now poised to add to that legacy.

In the original game, Joel is voiced by Troy Baker, who had his own ideas as to who should portray him in live-action. Playing a well-established, fan-favorite character is a tough job, something Tom Holland experienced with his own portrayal of another Naughty Dog character: Nathan Drake in "Uncharted" (via The Nerds of Color). And when it comes to something like "The Last of Us," a story people have had multiple opportunities to revisit over the years, that pressure can't be any less daunting. However, Pascal does have a strategy for how he plans to tackle playing the spurred father figure on-screen.

Pedro Pascal didn't want to imitate the video game version of Joel

In an interview with GQ, Pedro Pascal talked about his approach to playing Joel, saying, "I got worried that I would want to imitate too much, which I think could be right in some circumstances, and then a mistake in others. ... I just wanted to create a healthy distance, and for that to be more in the hands of [show co-writer] Craig Mazin and [game writer and show co-writer] Neil Druckmann." Given Druckmann's heavy involvement in the creation of the game, it's not surprising Pascal would feel comfortable working with him to flesh out Joel in a new medium.

Ashley Johnson, who will play Ellie in the upcoming TV adaptation, also voiced Ellie in both "The Last of Us" and its sequel. She spoke about how involved she is in developing her character in an interview on "Animal Talking with Gary Whitta," saying, "I'm very, very, very attached to this character, and I've played her for about ten years now."

Pascal seems to be taking a more careful approach to his role, but as long as he has trust in his fellow cast and crew, there's no reason he can't bring the original game to life on-screen — while adding another memorable performance to his repertoire along the way.