Troy Baker, the original voice actor for Joel Miller in Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us video games, has also been included in HBO’s live-action adaptation and settled down his comparison between playing Joel Miller and Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs.
“I feel like I’ve never left. And I kind of knew that was going to be the case the second that I ‘met’ [Joel],” Baker told in an interview with Deadline, “Anthony Hopkins tells this beautiful story when he first read the script for Silence of the Lambs. He got to about page 10 and put it down because he was afraid that he wouldn’t get the role, and I’ve felt that before.”
“As an actor, whenever you get an opportunity for an audition or a meeting, you want to get it because the exigencies of the artist’s situation are always financial, and you just want to get a job.” He added, “But some roles come across your path that just feel inherently special. And that was this, I had always been a fan of Naughty Dog and what they had done, especially with the Uncharted series, so the opportunity to be a part of a new thing was very appealing.”
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Acting-wise, Baker told his story of never getting one of his dream roles to come true, but eventually, he actually did, and no The Last of Us fan could say anything to oppose it. Baker perfectly portrayed Joel in the video game, and now, he’s off playing as James, who’s a part of the cannibal group in HBO’s The Last of Us.
Fans were expectant on getting to see the irony of Baker getting beat up by The Mandalorian’s Pedro Pascual as Joel on screen, however, seeing Baker still included in the show nonetheless makes for good TV, along with Ashley Johnson, the original voice actor for Ellie, portraying the character’s mother, Anna.
The Last of Us Episode 8 is now available to stream on HBO Max.