Pedro Pascal & Bella Ramsey Interview: The Last of Us

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the last of us takes place in a post-fungal pandemic world where most of the population has been wiped out by a mutated fungus that continues to spread and kill the few people who is still alive. the last of us follows Joel, a gruff smuggler tasked with transporting fourteen-year-old Ellie across the treacherous and dangerous United States. While the two are tired of each other at first, they slowly begin to care for each other, leading to an even more dangerous journey. The first season of the HBO adaptation will cover the events of the first game and its expansion.


The key to success the last of us the developing and growing relationship between Ellie and Joel. While the two are protected at first, they begin to open up to each other and bond, something that both have been reluctant to do because they have suffered so much loss in their lives. The HBO series must capture the same dynamic between the two characters, with Bella Ramsey playing Ellie and Pedro Pascal playing Joel.

Related: The Last of Us: Everything to know about the HBO series

Screen Rant and several other media spoke to Pascal and Ramsey about it the last of us. Pascal compared Joel to Din Djarin de The Mandalorian, and Ramsey shared her excitement at exploring Ellie’s origins in the new series. Pascal and Ramsey also break down what it was like working with Druckmann as a director.

Pedro Pascal & Bella Ramsey on The Last Of Us

Our last Joel and Ellie

Had you played the games before you were cast? And if not, what’s it like playing a video game where you know you’re going to be the character, compared to a book like Game of Thrones or a more established canon like that Mandalorian?

Bella Ramsey: Neither of us are special players, so we weren’t. Before I got the audition, I hadn’t played it or seen any. I watched some gameplay because I don’t have a console to play the game on. I watched some of it, and it was pretty cool. I could see right away why everyone loves it so much. I haven’t played it yet; he is sitting at home, waiting for me to play. But even not playing it, just being in the world of it, I’m obsessed with it. So, I understand the connection that people have because it is very special. Pedro?

Pedro Pascal: Yes. It’s like finding a new way to research original material, but it’s like having a book to look at or an original painting. I think there is so much authorship in the source material of The Last of Us that it was necessary to understand how to approach it and how to play it. There are so many musical components, a visual understanding of tone that is so unique and artistic in the game, that one, we could have easily stepped blindly because of how strong the change is, how strong how special the scripts were, how special the pages were, and how special Craig Mazin’s love is for Neil Druckmann’s game, and Neil Druckmann is one of our presenters. But within that safety, it was still very exciting to research how to make a book.

Screen rant: Bella. First of all, great job on the show. We get to know more of Ellie’s story than we do in the original game. What was the most surprising aspect of Ellie’s origin for you?

Bella Ramsey: Hmm, good question. I love that we are finding out more about her and where she comes from and how she ended up here. I like the fact that the story of her and Riley is told as part of the show because I know that was separate and left behind. I love that [it’s] included, and I think that’s a real driving force. Riley’s story is a real boost for Ellie, and it takes place three weeks before we first meet her in the first episode. She puts up a lot of the rest of her story and her journey; her relationship with Joel and her ongoing relationships. That’s interesting to me, and it’s very interesting to know the story of how it came to be.

Neil directed your second episode, and this is the episode where we get to match the biggest game. Talk to me a little bit about working with him on that program and what he provided that helped you get into space and the horror aspects of it.

Bella Ramsey: As soon as I found out that Neil was going to direct an episode, I felt that we would be in good hands because he created the show. Every time he said we did a good job, you can’t help but believe him because he was a child; his child, and he knows the deeper story better than anyone else. It was really great to be there and to have his presence on the set. The terrible times, as far as clickers are concerned, [were] so soft that we didn’t have to try very hard. They were real actors with real prosthetics and they had amazing movement coaching and design, and it was very immersive and awesome and the reactions you saw from us were mostly real. So, that was very easy in terms of being scared.

Pedro Pascal: You know what was weird? I’m going to say this, and I don’t know if I’m answering your question. But when Niall was directing a program, it was surprising that the most open and happy explanation was that he was not alone. He was the one who was much more into the questions and we didn’t know what we were taking. And I found that really, really amazing and inspiring. When it came to certain horror sequences, where you mention the museum, it felt like being in the game. It was very insane and, visually, there was nothing left to the imagination.

Ellie and Tess talk about The Last of Us

The world building in the show’s production design is amazing. Do you have a particular favorite detail that stands out?

Bella Ramsey: You’re right there was a lot of detail. Craig and Neil are full of details. So if you were to move into any frame throughout the show, nothing would be out of place. There is nothing wrong or inaccurate, and there are so many details in everything, which I think really makes the world more real and richer. My favorite detail… Pedro, do you have a favorite detail? I’m trying to think.

Pedro Pascal: The physical landscape of Alberta was also so much of the visual experience of the exhibition. And in the game I think that there is so much nature and amazing beauty to the end of civilization in a way, and to win nature in this way. And it was really amazing to be able to use the physical spaces where we were all year round, and in every season. Maybe it wasn’t the most comfortable thing, but it was quite incredible to be in the prairie with snow on the horse. And again, when it wasn’t a built set, we had the mountains. We had the real river; we had the real snow. Very little is left to the imagination.

Bella: I remembered a detail that I liked…

Pedro: It’s too late. The next question.

Bella: This is what I have to put up with for a year.

Pedro: What are the details? I want to know.

Bella: Do you remember when we were loading stuff into Bill and Frank’s truck? Every crate we had, every bag and box and thing was full of real stuff. That was a cool detail. Bill and Frank’s Garage.

Pedro: Yes. My lower back remembers it. Our props department, our hair department, our productions. It was all top notch. Very detailed work all around.

Joel and Din Djarin in The Mandalorian they are obviously different characters, but the same thing seems to me that they both come alive; they can both bounce. I’m wondering if there’s any acting awareness or experience you’ve learned from The Mandalorian and brought in while they work the last of us.

Pedro Pascal: Not only that, but they were happening at the same time as well. It’s an amazing double dip for me. And I think there are really, really strong comparisons in terms of their journeys and their relationships. With Joel, I think it was a really interesting opportunity to find elements from the source material, from Craig’s and Neil’s pages, from our locations, our sets and our effects; to be with Bella all the time.

That kind of put all the pieces together for me and I continued to find them. And just looking back when you ask this question, do I understand that maybe in the case of Mando and Joel, one of them was that they were in a relationship and telling each other.

Bella, what was it like for you to be in a leading role in such an intense series?

Bella Ramsey: I was very grateful that Pedro was directed by me. From the beginning, when I read the scripts, I was just relieved that it was Joel and Ellie. It felt like a comfort blanket. Just to have this constant support from someone who was going through the same thing as you every day too, and just instantly connected with him in the same experience, was very special.

And I was really, really always grateful for that right up to the last day and even now in all the news and stuff, it’s been so cool to have Pedro as a guide for all of this . And it was cool. I really enjoyed it, I enjoyed being the lead mostly because it meant I got to spend so much time on set, which is my favorite place ever, and it’s yes every set i go to is the only place i feel i’m right. So I had that experience for a year and being there a lot of the days was really cool, and I was as happy as I’ve ever been. It was wonderful.

About Man At Last

Joel and Ellie look back badly in a torn city in The Last of Us

Based on the popular 2013 video game of the same name The Last Of Us takes place in a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by a fungal outbreak. The series follows Joel, a hardened smuggler, who is tasked with bringing 14-year-old Ellie across the ravaged United States in hopes of finding a cure.

Try our other one the last of us interviews here:

Next: HBO’s latest could change a troubled story

the last of us premieres on HBO and HBO Max on January 15.

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