Pedro Pascal Ignored Orders From HBO While Preparing For His The Last Of Us Role

"The Last of Us" is finally almost here, and it is already being hailed as a live-action video game triumph. In our review of the series, Valerie Ettenhofer wrote: "Breathe a sigh of relief: 'The Last of Us' is very, very good." Indeed, this is everything you'd hope for an adaptation of Naughty Dog's 2013 game created by Neil Druckmann; it is very faithful to the game, even down to recreating camera movements, while also doing plenty of changes that add to the viewing experience and enhance the story.

Just like with the game, "The Last of Us" TV show lives and dies by its characters and performances. Beyond the zombies, beyond the horror, there's Joel and Ellie, and the bond they slowly form over their journey across a post-apocalyptic America. In the show, they're played by Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, and the two do a fantastic job embodying the characters. Truly, the two actors just become Joel and Ellie, capturing their mannerisms, their personalities, and their dynamic.

Granted, Pascal and Ramsey's performances aren't exactly like Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson's, but they manage to make the characters their own rather than just do a carbon copy of the game. That's because the actors were discouraged from playing the game and from even communicating with the original voice actors before making the show. While Bella Ramsey followed the suggestion and didn't play the game, of course, Pedro Pascal didn't really listen.

It's not an easy game, you guys

Speaking with Wired, Pedro Pascal talked about his familiarity with the game before making "The Last of Us" and how he ignored instructions to simply stay the hell away from the game.

"Their instruction was: Don't play the game. I ignored them. I tried to play the game," Pascal said. "And I was very, very bad at it. (But my nephew was fantastic.) It was important to me to play notes that were directly related to what was originally in the game — physically, visually, vocally."

Now, it's hard to blame Pascal because "The Last of Us" is not the easiest game. Not only is it rather scary, but the stealth and resource management aspects of the game can be quite challenging. I distinctly remember playing the second game and often just giving up and sprinting to the other end of a level, desperately trying to reach a save point before dying because I simply could not manage not to get spotted and shot at by enemies or bitten by infected.

As for Pascal's performance, you can definitely see hints of what Troy Baker did in the game, but with Pascal's own take on it, resulting in something entirely unique. 

"The Last of Us" premieres Sunday, January 15, 2023 on HBO.