WARNING: Spoilers for The Last of Us Episode 8 below.
The Last of Us unveiled its most disturbing episode on Sunday night as Joel (Pedro Pascal), and most especially Ellie, were forced to contend with a cannibalistic group of hungry churchgoers led by the deceivingly soft-spoken David (Scott Shepherd). While the episode was filled with brutal violence as it stared deep into the depths that humanity will sink to in an fungus-induced apocalypse, it also incorporated a prominent nod to the video game that made the show possible.
While David’s manipulative sermons are key to leading his flock, he won’t get far without men willing to do his dirty work. One of those men is his right-hand man James played by Troy Baker, who The Last of Us fans know all too well. Before Pedro Pascal stepped into the role of Joel, Baker was the first to bring him life by voicing him in both The Last of Us and The Last of Us Part II.
Naturally, Baker was thrilled to have a part in the live-action series, and he’s thoroughly enjoyed watching what Pascal has done with Joel.
“I had the opportunity to play it once and I left everything on the dance floor,” Baker told Entertainment Weekly. “The thing that I would’ve lamented is if whoever was tapped to play Joel didn’t teach me something new, that they just did the same thing that I did and it became an impression of a performance rather than a character. That’s the thing that I’ve been the most delighted about with Pedro. He brought something so new to this role. There’s always a moment in every episode where I’m like, ‘Oh f—! That’s good.'”
Baker also wants people to revisit The Last of Us game, which he feels is even stronger because of the show.
“Go back and play the game, think about those characters in different ways,” Baker said. “It all just adds a completely different layer.”
The Last of Us airs new episodes Sunday on HBO.
(Via Entertainment Weekly)