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Pedro Pascal Explains How His Last Of Us And Mandalorian Characters Inform One Another

It was a big year for Pedro Pascal in 2022, considering the actor worked on a trio of high-profile film and TV projects that may very well be his biggest roles to date.

First out of the gate for Pascal in 2022 was the critically acclaimed comedy "The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent," which featured Pascal's hilarious turn as a Nicolas Cage superfan opposite Cage in a clever meta turn as himself. After that, Pascal continued his work on the upcoming third season of his mega popular "Star Wars" series "The Mandalorian," and simultaneously shot episodes for the long-awaited HBO adaptation of the popular video game "The Last of Us."

While "The Mandalorian" and "The Last of Us" are both products of the sci-fi genre, the settings for each of the shows couldn't be any further apart. "The Mandalorian," of course, takes place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, while "The Last of Us" is set 20 years in the future here on earth. Adapted from the blockbuster video game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony in 2013, Pascal stars as Joel Miller, a survivor in a post-apocalyptic world plunged into chaos by a Cordyceps fungus pandemic. The virus, which affects the brain, turns its victims — dubbed "The Infected" — into zombie-like maniacs.

"The Last of Us" finds some Din Djarin-Grogu commonality with "The Mandalorian" in that Joel is responsible for protecting Ellie Williams (Bella Ramsey), a young teen with remarkable immunity from the virus who may hold the key to a cure. However, that's not the only plot point where "The Mandalorian" and "The Last of Us" mirror one another.

Pascal called his work on The Last of Us and The Mandalorian 'an amazing double dip'

In a digital roundtable press event with Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey attended by Looper, Pascal reflected on the similarities between Joel Miller in "The Last of Us" and Din Djarin, aka Mando, in "The Mandalorian." On the surface, both characters are survivalists and are highly skilled in the ways of combat, but Pascal believes the similarities go much deeper than the fact that he filmed both roles simultaneously.

"['The Last of Us' and 'The Mandalorian' provided] an amazing double dip for me, and I think that there are really, really strong comparisons in terms of their journeys and their relationships," Pascal observed. "With Joel, I think, again, it was a really fascinating opportunity to discover elements from the source material, from [showrunners] Craig [Mazin's] and Neil [Druckmann's] pages, from our locations, our sets, our [visual] effects [and] being with Bella all the time. That really kind of put all of the pieces together for me and I continued to discover them."

In retrospect, Pascal admitted that he only now realizes that there was more of a connection between his "Last of Us" and "Mandalorian" roles than he originally thought. "Maybe as far as Mando and Joel are concerned ... they were sort of in relationship informing one another," Pascal added.

Also starring Gabriel Luna, Anna Torv, Nico Parker, and Merle Dandridge, "The Last of Us" premieres on HBO and HBO Max January 15, with new episodes debuting every Sunday through March 12.