The Last Of Us’ latest episode premiered yesterday, and it’s arguably one of the finest masterpieces that aired this year. With the series’ exceptional plot lines and cinematography, The Last Of Us’ writer Craig Mazin and series co-creator Neil Druckmann shared some details on how they crafted Season 1’s third episode.
The show’s power duo created one of the most heartfelt episode on TV and the pair revealed why they chose to use Linda Ronstadt’s Long Long Time to pair with Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett’s phenomenal acting in the third episode. Writer Craig Mazin detailed how he found the perfect song choice for the episode.
Mazin told Deadline “.. the song had to be about longing and this kind of endless unrequited love that lasts a lifetime. A sense of sadness and futility that you will always be alone. And I wanted a song that wasn’t overplayed or too popular, but I also didn’t want a song that was just so obscure that it felt almost like we had set it up ourselves, and I could not find it for the life of me.”
Mazin further revealed that he wasn’t the one who found the song perfect. He asked a good friend for a song recommendation. He further revealed, “I had struggled and struggled. And so, finally, I gave up and texted my friend Seth Rudetsky, the host of Sirius XM on Broadway and a musical savant, and I listed all the things I needed. And a few seconds later, he texted me back and said, Linda Ronstadt, ‘Long, Long Time’. And I played it, and I was like, ‘Oh, there it is.’ And that was it. Seth Rudetsky is the man to both thank and blame for your tears.”
With their exceptional performance on the show, one might wonder how Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett landed their characters on The Last of Us. Series co-creator Druckmann revealed that they had Bartlett audition for the role and the audition was so good that they were moved to tears. With Offerman’s case, Mazin reached out to the actor since the power duo was pretty excited on the idea of having Offerman on the show.
Druckmann recalled “With Murray, he was kind enough to audition for us, and that addition moved us to tears. It was so good. We’re looking for this very specific character that just has passion for life and needs to be a handsome man that makes Bill feel really insecure – and Murray had that in spades. [Laughs].”
He continued “With Bill, that was Craig’s idea was to reach out to Nick Offerman. I got excited by the idea because of Nick’s performance in Devs; I felt like he was the best thing in that show. Every time he was onscreen, he was just kind of stealing those scenes and so captivating in a serious role. And then imagining him doing something different than what we’ve usually seen him do before was really exciting.”