Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) have both captured the hearts of audiences with their dynamic, found family bond that lies at the center of “The Last of Us,” the HBO series based on the hit video game of the same name. Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey are fantastic, but the show wouldn’t be what it is without an amazing ensemble cast of supporting characters who quietly accentuate Joel and Ellie’s transformations from hardened survivors to parent and child.
Though he only makes a few appearances in season 1, Gabriel Luna’s (previously known for his underrated performance in “Terminator: Dark Fate”) role as Joel’s little brother, Tommy Miller, makes a huge impact. Living with the trauma of surviving with Joel in the early days of the Cordyceps pandemic and disillusionment with his time fighting alongside the Fireflies, he and his partner Maria (Rutina Wesley) created the Jackson commune. It’s a trade society, a communist safe haven, and importantly, it’s proof that humanity can find its way in the late apocalypse. That glimmer of hope is what separates “The Last of Us” from the nihilistic cycles of dread and misery seen in similar media like “The Walking Dead.”
Tommy also plays an even larger role in the events of the sequel game, “The Last of Us Part II,” which will be covered by future seasons of the HBO series. Unlike Pascal and Ramsey, when Luna was cast, he immediately played both versions of the game for research — but this foresight actually helped him build his performance from the ground up. This week during SXSW’s conversation on season 1 of “The Last of Us,” Luna teased what to expect from Tommy in the future of the show.
Gabriel Luna Played Both Games Before Playing Tommy
After playing both “The Last of Us” games for preparation, Luna gained a greater appreciation for the material and for the character of Tommy. This is similar to the approach showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann took toward the creative choices of the series; using the roadmap of the game’s sequel to go back and enhance Joel and Ellie’s first adventure. Knowing Tommy’s emotional endpoints as demonstrated by “Part II” was Luna’s secret weapon in season 1. Luna told Variety:
“Because I played the games back to back, it’s one story in my mind. I prepped for it in that way, and you never want to assume you’re gonna get a season 2, but considering it’s probably the biggest show in the world and they renewed us for season 2, it’s probably good I have a head start thinking about it. The idea of everything that happens in ‘Part II’ was always ever-present in my mind. When working on the story we’ve told thus far, you gotta consider where you’re going with all the peaks and valleys. You don’t want to play the end, but you certainly want to keep it in mind as you’re rolling forward and building the character.”
Luna’s right in that you should never go into any project expecting a season 2 of follow-up prematurely, but quickly after the massively successful pilot episode of “The Last of Us,” a renewal order was pretty much a given.
‘There’s A Lot Of Peaks And There’s Some Deep, Deep Valleys’
Without getting into spoiler territory, “The Last of Us Part II” serves as a great expansion of the original story, delving even deeper into the morally ambiguous dilemmas and deeply flawed, human characters that made the 2013 game’s ending so memorable. If the first “The Last of Us” game was an exploration of the power of love, the second game is about the destructive force of hate. The experience of blind rage is also something so deeply human, this is true for Ellie and Joel as much as it is true for supporting characters like Tommy.
“There’s a lot of peaks and there’s some deep, deep valleys,” Luna explained, vaguely alluding to his character’s journey to fans. “As much as Tommy is an evolved person, and he’s evolving, there’s certainly a de-evolution that happens in ‘Part II.’ Which is probably the extent I can say about it.”
There is no solid release date for season 2 of “The Last of Us,” but considering the large 5-year gap between the two games, I’m sure we will be waiting a while. If you’re a fan of the show and are curious to see where Joel and Ellie go next, this is the perfect opportunity to play or watch a playthrough of both games. Until then, endure and survive.
Read this next: How Ellie’s Room Decor In The Last Of Us Points To The Larger Story
The post Tommy Will Experience a ‘De-Evolution’ in The Last of Us Season 2 appeared first on /Film.
/Film – Tommy Will Experience A ‘De-Evolution’ In The Last Of Us Season 2
Author: Tyler Llewyn Taing
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March 15, 2023