The Last of Us' original Joel star discusses joining the TV show
The Last of Us episode 8 spoilers follow.
The latest episode of the HBO's The Last of Us had a treat in store for fans of the original video game.
Troy Baker – the voice actor and motion capture performer who originally played Joel Miller in the Naughty Dog title – made an appearance in 'When We Are in Need'.
Of course, he was playing a different role, a villain that OG fans will recognise from the game's winter segment.
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The episode introduces preacher David (Scott Shepherd), who offers to help Ellie (Bella Ramsey) while Pedro Pascal's Joel is still recovering. Baker plays James, a member of David's clan of settlers, and it's safe to say Ellie's unexpected benefactors are indeed too good to be true.
Playing a layered character is what drew Baker to the role, after all.
"Look, I thought I was going to be a clicker. So, this is an upgrade," the actor joked in an interview with Deadline.
Baker revealed he was "so happy" when he got the call from the show's co-creator Neil Druckmann.
"And then, when reading the script for James, I was like, 'OK, there's a good challenge'," he recalled.
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"I love playing a villain to show you he's not the villain. Because if I can make you like him for just a second, that makes you hate him even more when I need you to.
"I love that dance. It's very appealing to me."
Baker also reflected on how all characters in The Last of Us universe are always a reflection of protagonists Joel and Ellie, sharing their hardships and losses though often resorting to ambiguous or evil ways to try and overcome them.
"So, to me, James was a good guy," he said, "and this world has been hard on him too."
The Last of Us airs on HBO in the US, and on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW in the UK.
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