Pedro Pascal cried off camera during every take of Joel's monologue in The Last of Us

22 February 2023, 12:55

The Last of Us creators discuss Joel's PTSD about his daughter Sarah

Katie Louise Smith

By Katie Louise Smith

Director Jasmila Žbanić revealed Pedro continued crying throughout Gabriel Luna's coverage so he could play off his emotion in the scene.

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If you've watched The Last of Us episode 6, then you'll have probably spent the last 48 hours deep in your feels about Pedro Pascal's performance as Joel.

In the episode, viewers see Joel work through a series of panic attacks as he begins to grow concerned about whether or not he's able to protect Ellie. He also finally reunites with his brother Tommy, and the two share a series of emotional conversations throughout the episode.

Pedro's performance has been met with widespread praise, with fans calling for him to win the Emmy for just that heartbreaking scene between Joel and Tommy alone. (You know the one... "I"m failing in my sleep." Sobbing.)

The episode director, Jasmila Žbanić, has now revealed just how much emotion Pedro poured into the scene in a new interview with Variety, adding that he cried in every single take in order to maintain the emotional for co-star Gabriel Luna.

READ MORE: The Last of Us' Bella Ramsey says she had "sleepless nights" over Joel and Ellie's fight scene

Pedro Pascal cried off-camera during Joel and Tommy's scene to maintain the emotional
Pedro Pascal cried off-camera during Joel and Tommy's scene to maintain the emotion for Gabriel Luna. Picture: HBO

The Last Of Us episode 6, titled 'Kin', sees Joel reunite with Tommy after a long and dangerous cross-country trek. Shortly after reuniting, the brothers sit down for a emotional conversation where Joel opens up about his panic attacks and the fear that he is no longer able to protect Ellie.

Joel then explains that he thinks he's "weak" and that he feels like he's failing: "That's all I do. It's all I've ever done. Is fail her. Again and again and again."

Discussing how Pedro and Gabriel handled that scene, director Jasmila Žbanić said: "It was so beautiful, because it’s a very long scene in the shoe shop. It's a very emotional scene for Pedro. I was filming him as a second; first we filmed Gabriel, and then I noticed that each time we repeated, Pedro was crying."

"He was not on camera, but he was crying because he was giving his partner everything so that he can act."

Žbanić continued, revealing that the scene was "especially taken care of," and Pedro and Gabriel tried "different stuff" and incorporated some suggestions of their own.

"This is very special," she said. "It's so generous of an actor to do this so deep. I was amazed by Pedro's talent."

Showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann also revealed that Pedro added one of the most devastating lines in Joel's monologue himself.

Speaking on the The Last of Us podcast, Mazin said: "He says, 'I'm failing in my sleep' and that was obviously a hard monologue to write. But the line when he says, 'I have dreams.' 'What dreams?' 'I don't know. All I know is that when I wake up I know I've lost something.' That was something from Pedro directly."

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