The Last of Us star reveals Marvel’s Mahershala Ali was supposed to play Joel

The Last of Us star Jeffrey Pierce, who voices Tommy in the video games, has revealed that it was Blade star Mahershala Ali who was supposed to play Joel in the TV adaptation.

The role is currently played by The Mandalorian star Pedro Pascal, but it could have been very different.

In an interview with The Direct, Pierce also opened up on the character Tommy and how he was not “harbouring any illusions” about playing him on screen.

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“I think initially they had talked to Mahershala Ali about playing Joel, which is an obvious cue that I’m not gonna play Tommy… And when they cast Pedro [Pascal], I knew like, yeah, that was certainly not going to happen regardless, I’m older than Pedro Pascal. So I was not harbouring any illusions about that, for sure.” he said.

In the show, Tommy is played by Gabriel Luna, but Pierce did make a few appearances in The Last Of Us episodes four and five as Perry, an ally of the brutal Kathleen, played by Yellowjackets star Melanie Lynsky.

jeffrey pierce, the last of usjeffrey pierce, the last of us


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Speaking about his role on the show, Pierce said: “I told [co-showrunner Neil Druckmann] early on, I was like, look, I’ll come and carry a spear and stand in the corner if there’s anything that I can do to help support telling the story of the game – you know, count me in.

“And the fact that it turned into Perry is kind of one of those [laughs]. He sent me the scripts and I read him. I was like, ‘Oh shit, this is gonna be so much fun’. He is one of the most lovely, talented, decent human beings going, and he is so good at his job that when he hands you writing, you just know how to make it fly. And this was one of those moments,” he added.

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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