‘You can’t make everyone happy’

Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey in The Last of Us.  (Photo: Courtesy of HBO)

Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey as Joel and Ellie in HBO’s new adaptation what’s left of us. (Photo: Courtesy of HBO)

Game has started. When? what’s left of us Fans of the blockbuster PlayStation game, which will premiere on HBO and HBO Max on January 15, will be faced with one of the most faithful screen adaptations of a video game ever. And while the nine-episode first season mostly sticks to the first half of the original 2013 game, the series already includes elements from the 2020 sequel. Between what’s left of us and Our End, Part IIgame creator Neil Druckmann has made a conscious effort to diversify his post-apocalyptic World, where an epidemic has killed most of the world’s population and turned most of the survivors into mindless zombies.

But the show doesn’t wait until next seasons to reflect on what the world looks like right now. The series premiere features showrunner Craig Mazin, who co-developed the series with Druckmann. what’s left of us with a variety of players of the kind that the game later began to adopt. And that begins with Pedro Pascal, the lead actor of the series, which also traverses George Lucas’ galaxy far, far away. mandalorian. The Chilean actor plays the haunted hero Joel, who serves as the player’s primary avatar in the first game and is portrayed as a white character in his original incarnation.

While most fans have embraced Pascal, a toxic segment the last of us players – many also criticized Our End, Part II He noted derogatory comments in Reddit threads and on social media – for his “wake-up politics” and his emphasis on diversity. The same critics took aim at some of the series’ other casting choices, including the presence of biracial actress Nico Parker as Joel’s daughter Sarah, who is white in the play.

He was asked how he would respond to toxic critics who might complain, “This is not my style.” the last of us” Pascal gives an easy and direct answer. “Sorry,” the actor tells Yahoo Entertainment with a casual shrug, making it clear that he’s not really that upset after all. “You can’t make everyone happy.”

Watch our interview with what’s left of us Stars Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey on YouTube:

“The game is very, very innovative in terms of inclusivity,” Pascal adds. “So really, the original source material is a way to honor the way Craig and Neil chose and told this story.”

Pascal’s the last of us co-star Bella Ramsey also faced backlash before the premiere, with supposed fans complaining about her resemblance to the teenage girl Ellie, who reluctantly joins Joel on a perilous cross-country journey to uncertain destination. In a game story published between what’s left of us and Our End, Part IIIt turns out that Ellie has a crush on her best friend Riley (played by Storm Reid in the series), another element Mazin introduces right before her story.

“This isn’t a spoiler – Ellie is a lesbian,” Mazin confirms. “That’s it. We had the advantage when we demonstrated something that Neil didn’t have when he made the play. We have it all.”

Protecting this part of Ellie’s identity was very important to Ramsey, who knew that fans initially worried whether this would stay out of the show. The first says, “It would never have been like this” game of Thrones The star adds, “I wouldn’t let that happen either. That’s part of who he is, and what I love about the show is that it’s not included in such a big deal. He exists in this world and loves women… and Joel is great at that. I think he’s really good.” made.”

In show business, Ellie uses pronouns, and off-screen, Ramsey is comfortable using both herself and them. When asked if versions of Ellie could experience a similar evolution as the series continues, Ramsey explains why this is unlikely. “The thing about pronouns for me is that I don’t care about any of them,” they say. “The ‘they’ are cool sometimes. The problem with Ellie is that she’s definitely not that feminine girlish person. That’s what’s great about Ellie. You’re not going to see a change: She just exists in a way and I hope to do so.”

as the person who initiated the move to diversify the world what’s left of us“I saw this story as a kind of love letter to the United States, especially the landscapes,” Druckmann says, inspired by his own experience as an Israeli-born immigrant currently living and working in the United States. “America has its problems, but its superpower is that it’s a crucible to bring together all kinds of people from all walks of life. It was important for the show to capture that.”

“I think sometimes fans can be misled,” Druckmann continues, referring to the more toxic elements of the game’s fandom. “They get stuck on the superficial stuff and they think we got it wrong somehow if those things change. But I want to ask them this: When you first played the game and [you met] Was it Sarah’s relationship with Joel? [that affected you] or that she has blonde hair? What is important versus what is not? It was more important to me to capture the essence of these characters as I play them.”

Mazin says the production is specifically looking for an actor who can capture “the weight of his years” when it comes to Joel. Since players control the PlayStation version of Joel, this might make them believe he’s superhuman, given his ability to fight infected monsters and heal in seconds with handy homemade medical kits. In contrast, Pascal’s Joel was set up as an ordinary man who had spent years living in extraordinary conditions, and time paid the price.

“We said to Pedro, ‘We want you to play your age,'” Mazin says. “Joel actually was older than Pedro in real life and we wanted him to have bad knees, run a little limp, and have trouble getting up and sitting down: it’s going on until the next episode. That humanity matters to us.

Pedro Pascal in The Last of Us.  (Photo: Courtesy of HBO)

Pascal as Joel in a scene what’s left of us. (Photo: Courtesy of HBO)

Pascal says it’s not hard to play the non-superhero version of Joel. “I can’t really survive an apocalypse,” he says with a laugh. “I had to bring my average to an iconicly loved character. I hope it worked!”

Here’s an example of exactly how well the actor’s world-weary portrayal works: Ramsey says they feel really bad when they have to break Joel’s chops as the perpetually grumpy Ellie. “I love how grumpy you are, [but] I actually found it pretty hard to mock you,” they admit to Pascal, before adding with perfect arrogance: “You’re fine.”

“Bella is one of the nicest people I know,” Pascal replies with a grin. “It’s great to know there’s an Ellie in you. She’s there!”

what’s left of us It premieres on HBO and HBO Max on Sunday, January 15.

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