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Troy Baker, the actor who originally brought Joel to life in Naughty Dog's The Last Of Us, has confirmed his approval of Pedro Pascal's casting of the same character in the upcoming HBO adaptation.
Baker threw his support behind The Mandalorian actor in a post on Instagram, referencing the Star Wars show in which Pascal plays a leading role. He added that he can't wait to see a side of Joel that he's never seen before.
Baker has long supported the idea of a new actor taking up the mantle of Joel and doing something completely different with the part. Unlike the fans who have been critical of Pascal's casting, Baker doesn't want to see a carbon copy of his performance. That would, after all, be incredibly dull. We can just play the game to see Baker's excellent work, right?
Baker previously said he'd like to see Josh Brolin take on the character, but wondered if the Sicario actor would be different enough from the Joel in the video games.
"I think on its face, literally, Josh Brolin would be a knockout choice," he explained in an interview with Collider last year. "But I don't know if I would walk away learning something different about Joel. I'm in a great position Because either A) Somebody steps into that role. And [I'll be] like, 'Damn, dude, I never thought about that, wow, what an interesting choice.' Or B) They suck, and people go, 'Only Troy can play Joel.' So either way I win."
A fairly unconventional choice on the face of it, Pascal will hopefully bring something to Joel that we've never seen before. His role as a gruff protector in The Mandalorian certainly suggests that his take on the character may be a little more gentle... but still completely capable of acts of extreme violence and selfishness to survive when it counts, of course. We'll have to wait and see, but the vast majority of fans are behind Pascal as Joel - and so are we.
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