After the premiere of The Last of Us, it seems impossible to imagine that Pedro Pascal was not the right actor for the role of Joel Miller, the protagonist of the Naughty Dog video game and the HBO series. Even so, his name was not the first choice of the production at the time of beginning to conceptualize the project. Before him there were several relevant names within the industry.
The Last of Us, after two chapters, is already leaving the feeling of being the best adaptation of a video game ever made. In a long history of irregularities, these types of projects have not met the needs of viewers or critics. On the contrary, until now, it could be considered as a traumatic area for the film industry.
Pedro Pascal heads, together with Bella Ramsey —in the role of Ellie Williams—, a production that is being quite faithful to the story of the video game and that, at the same time, allows itself some creative license. A particular balance between the narrative formats. Along with this staging, another of the key aspects of the story is Pascal, although at some point his name was not an option among the candidates.
The candidates to star in The Last of Us, ahead of Pedro Pascal
Until February 2021, when Pedro Pascal was confirmed, the leading candidate for the role was Hugh Jackman. Yes, the name of the Australian was one of the most commented among the followers. It was an idea with a logical background: an interpreter capable of approaching dramatic roles and, at the same time, action sequences naturally. However, this possibility did not transpire.
When HBO announced the adaptation of The Last of Us, a number of well-known actor names were rumored. Among which were:
- Josh Brolin
- Nikolaj Costed Waldau
- Karl Urban
- Mahershala Ali
A diverse catalog of options, with recognized performers on a greater or lesser scale. Among them, the most prestigious is Mahershala Ali, Oscar winner and part of solid projects like True Detective (third season). However, as in the case of Hugh Jackman, it is not clear why this option did not come to light.
Now, with the episodes of the series premiering every Sunday, the comparison between Pedro Pascal and the Joel Miller of the video game occurs naturally: some physical familiarity can be found, backed by acting work that approximates the personality of the animation. , a script that is being solid and a powerful staging.
The rise of an actor who has become a true pop icon
Pedro Pascal is 47 years old. His first massive role, due to the characteristics of the series and the relevance of his interpretation, occurred in Game of Thrones. In this production, also on HBO (and available on HBO Max), he played Oberyn Martell. His death, perhaps, can be considered one of the most shocking in the franchise.
After this appearance, his next big job is still developing: Din Djarin in The Mandalorian. ‘Mando’, as he is sometimes referred to in the series (available on Disney+), protects Grogu from various dangers while trying to bring him in with others of his kind. On that journey, the rocky and pragmatic personality of the character shows the more human side of him.
That role resonates with the one he plays in The Last of Us, with the particularity that in this case the threats are usually much more violent. Joel Miller does not have as many resources as ‘Command’ when dealing with risks and dangers. While in one he has to take care of Grogu, in another he takes care of Ellie. Pedro Pascal can unleash a moving sentence while he smashes the head of a security guard with his fists.
That ability, along with an off-camera personality that seems to be quite close, attentive to global agenda issues, have led to articles such as that of the journalist Jován Pulgarínwho recognizes the new “Hollywood tough guy” in Pedro Pascal’s profile:
“[Pedro Pascal] He shows himself to be a very sensitive and empathetic man, they are examples of the new Hollywood hero. Guys who are capable of fighting epidemics and dictatorial regimes, but who can also carry a baby and protect it.”
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It is part of a process that involves discussions related to machismo, feminism, the recognition of marginalized communities, among several other aspects. However, while these conversations continue to take place and the entertainment industry adapts to social changes, Pedro Pascal, with The Last of Us and The Mandalorian, continues to develop a relevant career that, perhaps, still has much more to do. for giving