The Last of Us TV show star Pedro Pascal hasn't played the games because he doesn't want to "imitate" Joel

The Last of Us 2
(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

Pedro Pascal admits to not having played The Last of Us games, in part because he doesn't want to develop an urge to "imitate" Joel Miller, the character he's portraying in the TV show adaptation.

In a new interview with GQ, Pascal was asked about his familiarity with The Last of Us games. Initially, he said he tried to play the game (presumably the first one) but ultimately handed the controller over to his nephew after finding he didn't have "the specific kind of skill" needed to beat it. 

Pascal said he then watched his nephew play for a while that same day, but other than that it sounds like he hasn't seen much of the games either. The actor said that's because he doesn't want to get to close to the video game character while filming as the TV show version.

"I found Joel so impressive — I found the whole of it such a visually impressive experience. And then I got worried that I would want to imitate too much, which I think could be right in some circumstances, and then a mistake in others. So I just wanted to create a healthy distance, and for that to be more in the hands of [show co-writer] Craig Mazin and [game director and show co-writer] Neil Druckmann."

In terms of how closely the TV series sticks to the games, Pascal understandably had only vague words to describe the adaptation, describing the show as "a very, very creative way of honoring what's important and also preserving what is iconic to the experience of the video game," adding that it includes "things that you wouldn’t necessarily expect." Pascal also compares it to the Disney Plus series The Mandalorian, which he also stars in.

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Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.