The HBO series showrunner has revealed which big-name actor was originally tipped for the lead role…
Ancient rumors claimed that Mahershala Ali had been considered for the role of Joel in The Last of Us. Rumors that the showrunner Craig Mazin refuted during a recent podcast appearance Happy, Sad, Confused stating that he had “never spokento the actor. Instead, it’s another unsuspected comedian who caught the director’s attention long before Pedro Pascal signs for the HBO series… and who is none other than Matthew McConaughey.
“Yes I spoke to Matthew. But I can’t say we had a lot of conversations. It was more like, ‘Hey, here’s something interesting to talk about,’“said the showrunner.
A casting potential that never materialized, Mazin having always had someone else in his sights: the one who got the role of Joel and delivered a breathtaking performance, Pedro Pascal.
“Pedro was on our list from the start. We were told he wasn’t available, and when we were at an impasse, I got a call from his agent saying, ‘Eventually he might be available.’ I sent a script, and normally when you send scripts to actors like this, you’re lucky if you get a reading within a month. At the time, he was in England working on a film. So I told myself that between the shooting and the jet lag, it was going to take ages. I sent it on a Friday. Saturday morning I got a call: ‘He loves it. He wants to talk about it by Zoom,’” has followed Craig Mazin.
And directly, it was clear that the star of The Mandalorian would be the right person for the role.
“We met over Zoom and had what I think was the most wonderful video call I’ve ever had. It was love at first sight, and he was so immediately clairvoyant about the show and so enamored with the script. I’m sure there’s an alternate universe where it’s another guy playing Joel. And you see, Matthew McConaughey is an amazing actor. It would have been great, but very different, and I like the version we did. So what can I say? I think it worked,” the showrunner finally revealed.