Here’s How HBO’s The Last Of Us Actors Compare To Their Video Game Counterparts

Series co-creator Neil Druckmann (writer and director of both “Last of Us” video games) always pitched the world and story as entirely hinging on the relationship of a parental figure and a younger female companion, so to say the relationship between Joel and Ellie is essential to the series is an understatement. If the actors didn’t click (clicker pun intended), none of the series would work. Thankfully, Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey more than rise to the occasion — they make the roles their own in new and exciting ways. 

Joel Miller, the character gamers control for most of “The Last of Us Part I,” is just as stoic and intimidating in the live-action series thanks to Pascal. Troy Baker’s motion capture performance had a lot more physicality than what’s been seen of Joel in the first episode of the series, but Pascal manages to convey that same ruthlessness in a much more subtle way. A video game is much more action-driven because of gameplay, making that change understandable. Pascal instead opts for a different form of intimidation in the series that only gets physical when necessary.  

The pre-outbreak Joel in the game is not nearly as developed as his live-action counterpart, and Pascal easily slips into that era of Joel’s life. At this point, tons of viewers know Pascal as the space dad that is the Mandalorian, so this father figure role is nothing new to the actor. The more time we spend with this version of Joel before it all goes to hell makes what comes after even more heartbreaking. Overall, while this Joel isn’t as physical as the constant bare-knuckle fighting Joel of the game (yet), Pascal maintains the same visceral nature of the character in subtle and more intense ways. He’s still got that southern accent, too.

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