Nick Offerman nearly turned down The Last of Us until wife Megan Mullally told him: ‘You’re going’
It seems hard to imagine a universe without the beautiful gay love story at the heart of The Last of Us episode 3 – but according to Nick Offerman, it’s all down to Megan Mullally that he even took part.
The third episode of HBO’s hit series, which has since been heralded by fans and critics alike as one of the greatest episodes of television ever, depicted a moving love story between survivalist Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett) in a post-apocalyptic America ravaged by a fungal plague.
The episode follows the pair throughout different stages of their life as they carve out a beautiful life together in the midst of violence and destruction, ultimately moving viewers to tears when they both decided to take their own lives.
While the roles of Bill and Frank seem tailor made for their respective actors, according to Offerman, he actually had to be convinced to take the role in the first place.
During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, the actor explained that he didn’t initially have time in his schedule to do the show. That was until his wife of nearly 20 years, Will & Grace star Megan Mullally, staged an intervention and gave him a much-needed push to accept the project.
“When I got the script – Craig Mazin wrote the script who did Chernobyl among other things,” he explained. “That guy seems to know what he’s doing, and he sent me this script and I didn’t have time on the calendar to say yes to this job.
“My incredible goddess of a wife read it and she said, “You’re going to Calgary, buddy. Have fun. You have to do this.”
The Parks and Recreation actor is now under no illusion of how right that decision was. On the chat show, Kimmel showed Offerman emotional reactions that viewers have been sharing on social media after watching the episode.
“It’s a tsunami of wonderful, generous plaudits,” he acknowledged. “The episode began airing on Sunday and we had 6.4 million viewers.
“HBO…they are so not f**king around that they sent me on the Jimmy Kimmel show on Wednesday to cull the stragglers,” he then quipped. “The 17 of you that haven’t seen it yet, you’re in for a treat.
The beautiful script wasn’t the only reason Offerman loved the episode.
Filming for The Last of Us coincided with the airing of The White Lotus season one in which Bartlett plays a chaotic hotel manager, and Offerman was excited by the chance to work alongside the gay icon.
“The timing was such that we [Mullally and Offerman] had just finished watching The White Lotus season one and so I said it felt like I had just seen The Raiders of the Lost Ark,” he continued.
“And they said, ‘All right, we want you to do this show and your co-star is going to be the guy with the hat and the whip and the most charismatic performance of the year’. It was undeniable I was so grateful to get to work with him,” Offerman continued.
As near-universal praise continues to pour in for The Last of Us, we can all now thank our lucky stars for Megan Mullally.
The Last of Us airs at 9pm ET every Sunday on HBO.
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