The Last of Us director says Pedro Pascal cried off camera to help scene partner play emotional reunion

Pedro Pascal went to extreme lengths to help his costar in The Last of Us episode six.

*Warning – spoilers ahead for The Last of Us episode six*

In “The Ties That Bind”, Pascal’s Joel is reunited with his long-lost brother, Tommy (Gabriel Luna) – an event that does not take place in the video game, on which the series is based, until its sequel (The Last of Us: Part II).

Viewers are introduced to Tommy in episode one of the HBO series. The brothers, however, get separated at the beginning of the cordyceps outbreak and spend the next two decades apart.

Filmmaker Jasmila Žbanić spoke to Variety about filming their emotional reunion in the sub-zero conditions of Alberta, Canada.

“The set was quite difficult because of the cold weather. Sometimes it was even -15 degrees Celsius, so very, very cold. That scene with Tommy and Joel was especially taken care of,” she said.

Žbanić explained that they shot the two actors separately in the scene, meaning Pascal was off camera while Luna was acting.

“First we filmed Gabriel [Luna], and then I noticed that each time we repeated, Pedro was crying,” Žbanić said.

Gabriel Luna (left) and Pedro Pascal in HBO’s ‘The Last of Us’ (Liane Hentscher/HBO)
Gabriel Luna (left) and Pedro Pascal in HBO’s ‘The Last of Us’ (Liane Hentscher/HBO)

“He was not on camera, but he was crying because he was giving his partner everything so that he can act. This is very special. It’s so generous of an actor to do this so deep. I was amazed by Pedro’s talent.”

The Last of Us makers were recently branded “pretentious” by fans after it was revealed they “banned” the word “zombie” on set.

While the outbreak of heat-adapted fungus cordyceps reduces humans to an infected state in the show, the infected are not zombies.

Adam Basil, a 6’6” British stuntman, played the monstrous Bloater in episode five. In a new interview, he opened up about how the character has “captured a lot of people’s imaginations”.

The Last of Us airs new episodes Sundays on HBO Max in the US and Mondays on Sky Atlantic in the UK.