Mexico City /
After bringing to life the most popular bounty hunter in the Star Wars Universe in The Mandalorian, Peter Pascal plunges into a zombie apocalyptic world with The Last Of Usthe series that emerged from the video game that broke records during the last decade and that this month will please the fandom with its premiere on the screen of HBO Max.
In this adaptation, Pedro Pascal gives life to Joel, the protagonist of the video game, a task that was complex for him if one takes into account that his immediate reference came from consoles and it is one of the most beloved roles among gamers, “it was good have the visual reference of the video game, but it was a different character to approach,” the Chilean actor told MILLENNIUM.
“I have interpreted characters from the world of George RR Martin, before I did a DC character (in Wonder Woman) and all those materials were a reference to what an adapted character is; that was different from the material that I now have as a source, so yes, it was terrifying, ”added the actor about the weight of taking on this role.
The Last Of Us (TLOU) is the second production in which Pedro shares the screen with Bella Ramsey, before they were part of the cast of Game of Thrones, he played Oberyn Martell, while she played Lyanna Mormont. Now they come together to give life to Joel and Elliand as part of the story, they have a relationship similar to that of a father with his daughter.
“The challenge was that we had the social theory at our disposal, we could watch it on YouTube if we wanted, because we’re not very good at pushing buttons and playing games, that was the hardest. We weren’t looking to replicate or copy the incredible work of the game, it was about adding spirit to the characters, and that was a natural process,” explained Bella Ramsey.
The series, like the video game, takes place 20 years after modern civilization was destroyed by a viral outbreak. Joel is a survivor who, after losing his family, is given a mission to get Ellie out of a quarantine zone; in the attempt they discover that she is the key to saving humanity, so he becomes her protector.
“There is something really challenging, and also valuable, for something so primitive to be at the center of a character’s story and be their worst nightmare: losing their child; it is an event that triggers who he is and what he becomes. He is very, very painful, but also very helpful, Joel is a very defined character,” Pascal explained.
The adaptation of TLOU has the seal of craig mazin –the mastermind behind the Chernobyl series–, who teamed up at all times with Neil Druckmann, the creator of the video game. From the outset, the streaming service made it clear that when it jumped onto the screen it would be faithful to the video game saga, and would have its due creative licences.
“We were interested in bringing the spirit of the game to the show, I wanted to make sure that the story was very close, but with opportunities to go to other places; we were faithful to what was already there and then we did things slightly differently, because you can play the video game for hours, but on television it is not the same, ”explained Craig Mazin.
To Neil Druckman, the essential thing was to “respect the themes, what the story is about” and at the same time “avoid duplicating what we have done with the game, because the game is the game and this is a medium with a different cast. Craig and I have always believed in the excellence of the brand and now we are part of the HBO family and we want to reach that quality bar”.
real and fictional pandemic
The Last Of Us begins with a meeting between scientists who predict a pandemic, years later the theory becomes a reality and humanity is in danger when a virus spreads throughout the world, turning humans into zombies. Regarding how the filming and development of this story was experienced in times of pandemic, Craig Mazin said that it was complex.
“We know that we are still living through a pandemic, we are all much smarter about pandemics and the disease that came three years ago, because of our experience. It was important for us to ground it in science and in reality because this is not magic, it is not supernatural, it is science,” Mazin explained.
According to his experience in productions such as Chernobyl, where catastrophes paralyze the world, and recently with TLOU, Mazin considered that “this was a way to start things with the right tone, I remember when I played The Last of Us for the first time and it felt so real, that’s what we wanted to keep for the show.”
The pandemic was, without a doubt, one of the challenges to overcome, not only for the production and creators, but also for the cast, as he explained. Gabriel Luna, who joined the story as Tommy, Former soldier and Joel’s younger brother, “the complex thing was filming in the middle of the pandemic, we dealt with tests and masks all the time, but that opened up a field for us,” he said.
“If anything can be good about all this, it is that we all had a similar experience in the world, it was like that docking station with our program to understand the context. Having experienced something like that, it will make you feel a level of realism, almost immersion, because we’ve all been dealing with this in the world,” added the actor.
The Last Of Us video game has collected more than 500 awards with its first and second installments, both parts exceed 40 million units sold worldwide; meanwhile, fans are still waiting for the confirmation of the third part. The premiere of the series is scheduled for next January 15, on the HBO Max screen.