Troy Baker, who played Joel in The Last of Us video game series, has commented on what it was like to pass the baton, so to speak, to Pedro Pascal, who plays Joel on the HBO series. Speaking to Variety, Baker said he is a big fan of Pascal and went on to sing his praises.
“He does this thing where he’s so confident in his grasp on the character that it allows him to just sit comfortably in his own conviction,” Baker said. “He does everything on a knife’s edge. There’s nothing that’s wild. If you watch all of his choices, [they’re] so minimal, and because of that, they’re profound. And it makes Joel, in a lot of ways, more dangerous.”
Baker went on to say that Pascal brings a new layer of physicality to the role of Joel that wasn’t possible in the video game series.
“When you’re stitching yourself up from bullets and shivs, you can’t go, ‘Ow, my hand still hurts.’ But then in the show, we could say, ‘I broke my hand and it’s bruised,’ and it stays with him for months,” Baker said. “That, to me, is something that helps to ground the story and present it in a very tangible way to a whole new audience.”
Baker plays a villain names James, and he said one of his biggest challenges with the role was playing an enemy to Ellie as opposed to a protector as he did as Joel in the video games.
“From my perspective, I’ve had such a dear relationship with [Ashley Johnson, who plays Ellie in the games] and with the character of Ellie for so long, that I naturally want to assume that role,” Baker said. “What Bella quickly teaches you, especially in [Episode 8], is that there’s absolutely no protection needed. Both [Ellie TV actress Bella Ramsey] and Ellie are incredibly fierce, adept, talented, powerful people. That’s the threat that James sees. He’s a pragmatist.”
Johnson, who as mentioned played Ellie in the video games, will appear on the HBO show as well. She will play Anna, who is Ellie’s mother, in the Season 1 finale this Sunday, March 12.
For more on Episode 8, check out GameSpot’s breakdown video above.
The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors.
GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.