As for his highly-anticipated role as Joel in “The Last of Us,” Pascal’s reasoning behind joining the franchise was purely practical. In the same Wired interview linked above, Pascal remarked that his motivation for joining the project was simply the opportunity to work with screenwriter and director, Craig Mazin:
“To be totally honest, it was wanting to work with Craig Mazin, who did Chernobyl. Also, HBO is content that I literally grew up on. I experienced their original programming. Their original programming was very, very mature.”
Mazin, who predominantly specializes in writing parody films, proved his caliber as a director with his five-part HBO miniseries, “Chernobyl.” Given the masterfully taut nature of the miniseries, and its sensitive, layered exploration of the real-life nuclear disaster, it is no surprise that Pascal seized on the opportunity to work with Mazin on an ambitious video game adaptation. Pascal has been honest about his relationship with the source material: while he was not acquainted with the game series prior to accepting the project, he made it a point to play it extensively, in spite of studio directions to not do so. This allowed Pascal to understand Joel’s character in greater depth, including his tell-tale inflections, motivations, and knee-jerk emotional impulses. Basing this as a jumping-off point, Pascal is set to make Joel Miller his own.
As for playing Grogu’s protective guardian, Pascal is set to return for the show’s third season, which might delve deeper into Din’s personal arc and where he stands in the face of the galaxy. While Pascal might not be intentionally choosing roles of a specific tint and variety, he surely does justice to their inherent complexities. May be keep seizing more opportunities that work in his favor.