This post contains spoilers for "The Last of Us" season 1, episode 6, "Kin."
Truly, Pedro Pascal's dad powers know no bounds. Whether he's using them to elevate the film around him (like in "Prospect") or deploying them to act under a mask (as in "The Mandalorian"), the man can play a gruff, grumpy father or a stoic-loner-turned-adopted-parent with a heart of gold like nobody's business. Really, the only thing he's better at than playing laconic dads might be playing fast-talking, disapproving mothers.
While HBO's "The Last of Us" has yet to call upon Pascal to utilize that particular set of skills (then again, season 1 isn't over yet), it has nevertheless afforded him the chance to showcase his full range as an actor while still operating firmly in irascible dad mode. Yet, even after five episodes of dramatic storytelling ranging from bittersweet to devastating, few scenes have allowed Pascal to shine quite like a key moment in episode 6, "Kin." I refer, of course, to Joel's (Pascal) affecting heart-to-heart with his brother Tommy (Gabriel Luna) in Jackson.
Upon reuniting with Tommy at his newfound (and unexpectedly flourishing) home, Joel is hesitant to speak freely about his teen companion Ellie (Bella Ramsey), much less what the pair are doing in middle of nowhere in Wyoming in the dead of winter. One night, however, it all comes spilling out of him after Tommy finds him alone trying to repair his deteriorating shoe. What could've amounted to little more than glorified exposition becomes a scene of raw emotional power in Pascal's hands, as Joel bears his soul in a way he hasn't on the show since the brutal death of his daughter Sarah (Nico Parker), 20 years prior. As it turns out, Pascal didn't save all his tears for the camera, either.
'I Was Amazed By Pedro's Talent'
"Kin" was directed by Bosnian filmmaker Jasmila Žbanić, herself no stranger to telling powerful stories about calamitous events from the perspectives of everyday ordinary people. Perhaps most notably, her acclaimed 2020 war drama "Quo Vadis, Aida?" dramatizes the Srebrenica massacre through the eyes of the eponymous schoolteacher. "We were very lucky because we had the opportunity to have rehearsals before we were on the set," said Žbanić, speaking to Variety about her work on "The Last of Us." She confirmed all those shots in the episode of cast members' visible breath weren't faked, either. "The set was quite difficult because of the cold weather. Sometimes it was even -15 degrees Celsius, so very, very cold," she explained.
Žbanić added that Pedro Pascal also did his part to help his co-stars get into character, specifically during Joel's confession to Tommy. After Pascal and Gabriel Luna did a few readings and made a few suggestions, Žbanić said she filmed Luna's reactions first. As she did, "Pedro was crying," she recalled. He continued to do so after that, even when the camera wasn't on him:
"He was not on camera, but he was crying because he was giving his partner everything so that he can act. This is very special. It's so generous of an actor to do this so deep. I was amazed by Pedro's talent."
Needless to say, Pascal didn't have to do that, but it's a testament to his craft and a meaningful show of respect for Luna that he did. One suspects this isn't the first time Pascal has gone above and beyond to assist his co-workers like this, either, and this specific moment is all the more impactful for it. There's a reason he's everyone's favorite onscreen dad.
"The Last of Us" airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO and HBO Max.
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The post Pedro Pascal Cried Even When He Wasn't On Camera In The Last Of Us Episode 6's Most Emotional Scene appeared first on /Film.