Pedro Pascal forgot he got cast in The Last of Us after taking an Ambien

Pedro Pascal, that sweet, puckish cherub of a human being, has a great story for how he got cast as Joel in HBO's new hit series The Last of Us.

Appearing on The Tonight Show in conversation with Jimmy Fallon, Pascal explained that he heard the news of his casting after he took an Ambien and then promptly forgot he got the job by the next morning.

Pascal told Fallon he was in London having late-night conversations with Craig Mazin, The Last of Us executive producer who was in Los Angeles at the time. "They were like, 'Will you stay up a little bit later...' — at this point, it was getting kind of late in London — '... to talk to Neil Druckmann, the creator of the video game?'" Pascal remembered.

The actor said those discussions extended much later into the night and he had an early morning the next day.

"I take an Ambien to go to sleep just in case," he continued. "They've got my adrenaline going and my hopes up... but I get a call and I get told that I got the job after I took the Ambien. And so I was excited, I guess, but I didn't remember. I woke up in the morning and the first thing that occurred to me was, 'Aww man, I really want that job... I'm gonna wait by the phone all day long. This hasn't happened in a while. I'm gonna think about it all day.'"

Fortunately, that didn't happen. He looked at his phone and saw the congratulations note. "I was like, 'Oh yeah! I got the job!'" Pascal exclaimed.

The Last of Us is the apocalyptic odyssey of Joel (Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey). Joel is a hardened survivor living in a Boston quarantine zone, still struggling with the death of his daughter 20 years after a fungal plague decimated the human population. Ellie is a smart aleck 13-year-old with a mysterious immunity to the virus.

PHOTO January 09, 2023 Photograph by Liane Hentscher/HBO Bella Ramsey, Pedro Pascal HBO The Last of Us Season 1 - Episode 3
PHOTO January 09, 2023 Photograph by Liane Hentscher/HBO Bella Ramsey, Pedro Pascal HBO The Last of Us Season 1 - Episode 3

Liane Hentscher/HBO Ellie (Bella Ramsey) and Joel (Pedro Pascal) in 'The Last of Us'

Joel is tasked with smuggling Ellie out of the QZ by the Fireflies rebel group, but this seemingly simple job sends the reluctant pair on a trek across what's left of America as they dodge the monstrous Infected, as well as human threats.

Pascal told EW that he and Ramsey bonded through their shared experience of being on Game of Thrones. "I feel like it made us come from a family without knowing each other already," he said. "To have two characters that the fans liked make their entrance and make their exit is parallel for the both of us and a kind of bonding thing before we even got a chance to bond."

The Last of Us is currently airing Sunday nights on HBO and streaming on HBO Max.

Watch Pascal's full Tonight Show interview in the video above.

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