Pedro Pascal is the best actor to play Joel in the upcoming HBO adaptation of Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us video game due to his role as Din Djarin.
Pedro Pascal is the perfect choice to play Joel in HBO’s new television adaptation of The last of us due to its role in The mandalorian. Released in 2013 by Sony Computer Entertainment and created by Naughty Dog, The last of us is a horror, adventure and survival video game set 20 years after a devastating mushroom outbreak that has infected more than half the world’s population. Judging by the recent roles of Pascal’s anti-hero father figure in a variety of movies and TV shows, he is best suited to play Joel, the game’s protagonist.
The last of us shares many of the same rhythms as Disney + The mandalorian. The main premise follows Joel (voiced by Troy Baker), a inveterate smuggler trying to make a living in a post-apocalyptic America. You are tasked with delivering Ellie (voiced by Ashley Johnson), a brave teenager who may be the key to curing the plague that afflicts the world, the Fireflies, a paramilitary faction focused on vaccine production. I like The last of us, the Mandalorian must deliver Grogu, a Force-sensitive being, to the Client in season one and, later, to the Jedi.
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The character of the Mandalorian or Din Djarin also shares many of the same qualities as Joel, which explains why Pedro Pascal is so perfect to play him. Din Djarin and Joel are both lonely stoics, haunted by their past and doing their best to survive after the fall of the Empire and the aftermath of a pandemic, respectively. While crime and disorder run rampant on their worlds, they go about their business of bounty hunting and smuggling. It’s not until they take care of the transport and delivery of a special child that their tough exteriors begin to thaw. During the journey, they take on the role of devoted parents who will protect their children at all costs. They are able to let their guard down, figuratively and literally: Joel can talk to Ellie about his daughter Sarah and Din takes off his mask to confront Grogu. Since these characters are so similar and Pascal has already received critical acclaim for his role as Din Djarin, he will no doubt do the same for Joel.
The success of The mandalorian It comes largely from Pascal’s performance as Din Djarin. His character, even in a helmet, has many poignant overtones. These come entirely through Pascal’s voice acting and tonal shifts, portraying his conflicting emotions as he grows closer to Grogu over the course of his journey. Dad’s exasperation in his voice is evident when, for example, Grogu consumes an alarming amount of the Frog Lady’s eggs. Onlookers can hear his joy when Grogu practices the use of the Force. Pascal makes it easy to imagine the variety of expressions Din may be making behind his helmet. Also, when unmasked, your body language is the same as if you were masked: turn your head fully to look at someone, look left or right without moving your head.
Pascal has fully embodied Din and should have no trouble putting himself in Joel’s shoes and perhaps even elevating the character to new emotional heights now that he will be able to use his expressive face as well. At the end of The last of usJoel is by all accounts Ellie’s father, and he proves this by rescuing her from the firefly experimentation, much like Din does with the Client’s Grogu in The mandalorian. Because Pedro Pascal has so much experience and talent playing this type of character, he will bring all the gravity and heart that a live performance of Joel deserves. That is why it is the perfect choice for the cast.
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