May 25, 2024

The Last Of Us Star Nico Parker On Filming For Role

How familiar were you with the game before getting the role?

I mean, I’m just not good with video games. I wish I had played The Last Of Us, but I didn’t. But I very much knew what it was, though. When I was younger, I used to watch gamers playing the game. Then I graduated from that to watching the silent gameplay as if it were a movie.

Then really strangely, and this actually sounds like a lie, but it really happened, a week before I got the audition, I was with my friend in my bedroom, and we’re like, «what movie should we watch? » I was like, «You know what we should watch? There’s this video game, but I swear it’s a movie. » We watched it, and we both cried and watched it like a mess. We even got three hours into the gameplay, which wasn’t even interactive for us. We’re just sitting gawking at it. Then a week later, I got the audition. That was crazy!

That’s the universe preparing you! Do you feel pressure over the video game having a cult following, which may mean that fans will have a lot of expectations from the series?

Everyone puts pressure on themselves. It’s difficult not to, but we all felt it. Definitely. But it was easy because Craig and Neil are lovely, and they just removed the pressure from the set. Filming became easier, but it was more so a thing of you going home, and you’re like, «oh my God! » I remember the day it got announced that I was in it, I was like, «whoa». I didn’t even realise how big of a deal it all was. There’s definitely a pressure to meet expectations and to stay true to existing material whilst also not emulating exactly what’s seen in the game.

So there was the pressure of wanting to do it justice. Also, the actors in the game are so wonderful, and you’re thinking about how you’re meant to top these people even though it’s all pixels. So that pressure is very much there. Set-wise, Pedro is a wonderful human and a very comforting presence. So all of that together made it so that when you’re filming, you don’t think about it. But, there were days when I went home and was like, “I could have done that better. That was awful. ” However, that is on any set, but it gets heightened when there are already people who are fanatics of the show.

Your character Sarah is Joel’s daughter, who the incredible Pedro Pascal plays.  How was the dynamic filming with him, as he had much more heavy, intense scenes?

It was amazing because it [Nico and Pedro’s scenes] was the very first thing that was filmed for The Last of Us. So it was just Pedro and me for a while. When I say this, I’m worried that he in interviews will be like, «Yeah, she’s nice,» but he’s genuinely one of my best friends. It was wonderful because there’s a pressure to get on with someone, and when you’re playing my dad, it’s like we have to get on. We have a week to make it seem like we’ve known each for fourteen years.

But very quickly, it was like, «Oh, you are my friend, and this is great. » So then that just continued on throughout filming, and when it got to the more intense scenes between the two of us, that was all concentrated towards the end of filming, which I was thankful for because then we already knew each other. The boundaries had been dropped by then, and there was no awkwardness, and you could ask something of someone. It’s just all that initial people-pleaser energy stripped from us. He’s wonderful. I don’t have enough nice words to say about him.

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