Matthew McConaughey Almost Robbed Us of Pedro Pascal's Joel in The Last of Us
The Last of Us could have been so different.
The Last of Us by HBO is one of the best examples of a decent video game adaptation. Pedro Pascal absolutely nailed the role of Joel, a hardened middle-aged survivor who is tasked with smuggling a young girl, Ellie, portrayed by Bella Ramsey.
Pedro Pascal did a great job, and it’s no wonder he was nominated for an Emmy this year. Even though the competition is stiff (Jeff Bridges, Brian Cox, Kieran Culkin, Bob Odenkirk, Jeremy Strong) many believe that Pedro Pascal will snag the award.
Yes, it’s hard to imagine now, after we've seen the series, but Pedro Pascal almost didn’t take part in The Last of Us. Instead, Matthew McConaughey was considered for the leading role.
Before Pedro Pascal snagged the role of Joel, the entertainment grapevine was abuzz with speculations. During his appearance on Happy Sad Confused podcast, Craig Mazin, the show's co-creator, confirmed that he did have a little chit-chat with Matthew McConaughey about the role.
But, Mazin added that it wasn't like they were deep into negotiations or anything. Even with all the McConaughey whispers, Pedro Pascal was always the top pick for Joel.
According to Mazin, there was this brief hiccup when everyone thought Pascal was tied up with other projects. But Pascal's agent called him and said that Pascal might be free after all. And things did move fast after that. Pascal got the script, was head over heels for it, and the rest is history as they say.
Pascal's take on Joel has been nothing short of spectacular. His on-screen bond with Bella Ramsey is just amazing. Fun fact: Both of them had their moments of glory on Game of Thrones, and they never really met on the show, but it still feels like they've known each other forever.
While the idea of McConaughey as Joel is a tantalizing "what could've been," fans and critics are all praises for Pascal's raw and emotional portrayal.
Mazin, looking back at the casting, feels pretty stoked about how things panned out. He's convinced that McConaughey would've rocked it, but he is happy Pascal was eventually available to take on the role.
Source: Josh Horowitz on YouTube