Oscar winner ‘almost played Joel in The Last of Us’ instead of Pedro Pascal'

Ever since Pedro Pascal made his debut as Joel Miller in The Last of Us, fans of the video game and newcomers have been completely won over by his stellar performance.

However, before he was officially cast as the complex character, it’s been claimed that Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali had a strong shot of bagging the coveted role.

During a recent interview, Jeffrey Pierce – who played Joel’s brother Tommy in the video game and appeared as revolutionary rebel Perry in the TV adaptation – opened up about the early stages of the HBO series’ development.

When asked about whether he was in the pipeline to play Tommy again for the TV show, he recalled the ‘talks’ that were had with Mahershala about him supposedly taking on the lead role of Joel.

‘I think initially they had talked to Mahershala Ali about playing Joel, which is an obvious cue that I’m not gonna play Tommy…’ he told The Direct.

Then when Pedro was cast, Jeffrey said that made him realise yet again that he wouldn’t be in the running for Tommy, adding: ‘I’m older than Pedro Pascal. So I was not under harboring any illusions about that, for sure.’

Jeffrey, who has been very vocal in his support of Tommy actor Gabriel Luna on social media, explained how before the TV series was created, different adaptation ideas were explored.

‘There have been a couple of different iterations over time. There was a movie at one point. There was a motion-capture cinematic animated series at one point. And both of those are things that I thought, “I got a pretty good shot at being involved to some degree,”’ he said.

While Jeffrey didn’t end up playing Tommy in the show, he did have a very memorable stint as Perry…

***Warning. Major spoilers ahead for The Last of Us TV show.***

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In episode five of the drama, revolutionary leader Kathleen (Melanie Lynskey) chases after Joel, Ellie (Bella Ramsey), Henry (Lamar Johnson) and Sam (Keivonn Woodard), before they all face a terrifyingly massive infected attack.

Perry urges Kathleen to run and save herself, before failing to shoot down a Bloater… who proceeds to pick him up and rip his head off in a particularly memorable death.

After the episode came out, Jeffrey light-heartedly tweeted: ‘That’s not what I meant when I said “A little off the top,”’ alongside a gif of someone having their head shaved.

‘Epic way to go, eh?’ one fan tweeted in response, while another wrote: ‘That scene was so wild I lost my head trying to comprehend it.’

Metro.co.uk has contacted HBO for comment.

The Last of Us is available to watch on Sky and NOW in the UK, with new episodes released on Mondays.

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