The Mandalorian actor will star opposite Bella Ramsey in the channel’s big-budget adaptation of the popular video game, which is widely considered one of the best video games of all time.
The series is set in a post-apocalyptic future where zombie-like predators roam the US.
In a new interview, Pascal confessed that while he’d been told not to play The Last of Us before filming began, he decided to give it a go anyway.
“I hadn’t heard of the game,” he told Wired. “Their instruction was: Don’t play the game. I ignored them.
“I tried to play the game, and I was very, very bad at it,” Pascal continued, adding: “But my nephew was fantastic.”
“It was important to me to play notes that were directly related to what was originally in the game – physically, visually, vocally,” he said.
Discussing playing Joel Miller, a father and apocalypse survivor who journeys across the US after the country is ravaged by a deadly disease, Pascal said it was a thrill to “externalise internal darkness” on screen.
He particularly focused on “Joel’s capacity for violence, and being good at it”.
“I didn’t get into any physical fights growing up, and definitely not as an adult,” he said. “Violence scares me tremendously. Is it the fear of violence in general? Is it the fear of your own violence?”
A trailer for The Last of Us, released in September, revealed that Yellowjackets star Melanie Lynskey would also be appearing in the series. She will play Kathleen, the merciless leader of a Kansas City revolutionary movement.
Other cast members include Gabriel Luna, Merle Dandrige, Nico Parker, Murray Bartlett, Nick Offerman, Jeffrey Pierce, and Anna Torv.
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson, who voiced Joel and Ramsay’s character Ellie in the video games, will also make an appearance.
The Last of Us was first released in 2013, with a sequel, The Last of Us Part II, also met with overwhelming acclaim when it was released in 2020.
The Last of Us is released on Sunday 15 January on Sky Atlantic and Now in the UK. It will air on HBO Max in the US.