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‘The Last of Us’ Star Pedro Pascal Was Told Not to Play the Game, but He Did Anyway — Here’s What He Learned

Not everyone is a gamer, and apparently, that includes Pedro Pascal. He stars in HBO’s adaptation of Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us video game as Joel, a smuggler who must get a teen named Ellie (Bella Ramsey) across a post-apocalyptic U.S. But how familiar is he with the source material? In a recent interview, Pascal revealed that he was instructed not to play The Last of Us, but he went against orders and played anyway — and he was terrible. As Pascal has learned, though, that might be a good thing.

Pedro Pascal as Joel holing a flashlight in The Last of Us
Pedro Pascal as Joel in ‘The Last of Us’ | Liane Hentscher/HBO

Pedro Pascal initially received criticism when he was cast as Joel

Turning a video game into a movie or TV show is a dangerous game in itself. Most video game adaptations have notoriously failed to live up to fan expectations. They’re also prone to criticism over every detail, especially when it comes to casting. HBO’s The Last of Us co-creator Craig Mazin recently revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that fans criticized Pascal for not having a beard like Joel’s in the game.

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