“The Last of Us” Star Jeffrey Pierce Reveals Pedro Pascal Wasn’t the First Choice for Joel!

Jeffrey Pierce, the star of “The Last of Us,” says that Mahershala Ali was almost cast as Joel.

The Last of Us on HBO has been called the gold standard for movies based on video games by many people. So far, the show’s eight episodes have done a great job of both amazing and entertaining viewers. But maybe it could have all been different, at least when it comes to the role of Joel, which Pedro Pascal does so well. Star of the show Jeffrey Pierce says that the part could have gone to someone else.

In the most recent episode of the show, “Left Behind,” we saw that Joel was badly hurt and struggling to stay alive after his fight with raiders at Colorado University. Pascal’s portrayal of the character as a father who is always sad and afraid to let Ellie (Bella Ramsey) into his heart because she is “dependent” on him has gotten a lot of praise.

But Pierce, who also played Perry in the show, says that Joel could have been played by someone we already knew. Pierce said that, even though he voiced Tommy, Joel’s younger brother, in the 2014 video game, he had “no illusions” about being able to play the character on screen.

The Last of Us

He also said what gave it away. “I think they talked to Mahershala Ali at first about playing Joel, which is a clear sign that I’m not going to play Tommy,” the actor told The Direct. “When they cast Pedro Pascal, I knew that wasn’t going to happen no matter what, because I’m older than Pedro Pascal. So I had no illusions about that, that’s for sure.”

We can all agree that Pascal was a good choice for the Naughty Dog movie, but Mahershala Ali also would not have been a bad choice. Ali, who won an Oscar, would have brought his best to the set, just like he did in his other movies. Also, if he had agreed to work on The Last of Us, the Marvel star would have continued to work with HBO. He has been in True Detective and will be in Unruly, an upcoming limited series on the network.

For more on The Last of Us, check out our guide on updates about season 2 and about Riley, Kathleen and Fireflies in The Last of Us.