The Last of Us could be the next big HBO series.
The prestige TV network has invested a Game of Thrones-esque budget of at least $100 million USD (about $135.9 million CAD) into the show, signifying its interest in the PlayStation video game adaptation. It also hails from award-winning creators Neil Druckmann (one of the game’s original lead developers) and Craig Mazin (the mind behind Chernobyl).
That’s all been covered quite extensively, but what you might not know is that the entire series was shot in Alberta over the course of a year. In fact, it’s that Canadian filming location that star Pedro Pascal, who plays Joel, is saying was “essential” to the whole production.
Speaking to MobileSyrup during a broader roundtable interview about The Last of Us, Pascal and co-star Bella Ramsey (Ellie) heaped praise on the province and its crew.
“The Canadian crew that we had was so wonderful. They were so consistently passionate throughout the whole year. There was never a moment where it felt like no one wanted to be there. Even on the really hard, long nights we spent shooting, everyone was so pleased to be there and passionate about the work we were collectively creating.”
“I feel like being there was essential to the experience — that we couldn’t have done it anywhere else,” adds Pascal. “Physically, one, but also for our crew and the warmth and the dedication and everybody really in it together and caring as much. There wasn’t a fraction of apathy in the entire experience, and honestly, it felt Canadian to me.”
The Last of Us follows Joel, a grizzled survivor who’s tasked with transporting Ellie across a post-pandemic U.S. on a critical mission. The story spans all four seasons, making Alberta the perfect setting to capture all types of weather.
For more from Pascal and Ramsey, as well as Druckmann, Mazin and actors Gabriel Luna and Merle Dandridge, check out our full feature.
HBO’s The Last of Us will premiere in Canada exclusively on Crave on January 15th.
Image credit: HBO