The Last of Us’ Pedro Pascal was almost cast in this classic gay TV series

PARK CITY, UTAH - JANUARY 18: Pedro Pascal attends the "Freaky Tales" Premiere during the 2024 Sundance Film Festival at Eccles Center Theatre on January 18, 2024 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Long before he was Joel in The Last of Us, Pedro Pascal was almost cast in a classic gay TV series alongside Russell Tovey, a new interview has revealed.

Thirsted after for his roles in The Mandalorian, Game of Thrones and more, Chilean-American actor Pascal broke the internet last year after TikTok went wild for him with a series of fan edits, the most notorious gathering 1.8M likes.

But he isn’t just the internet’s “daddy” – he’s also consistently proven to be a vocal champion for the LGBTQ+ community. Earlier this month, he took his trans sister Lux Pascal as his date to the 2024 Emmy Awards, having previously described her as “one of the most powerful people” he’s ever known.

Now, the directors behind acclaimed HBO seres Looking have revealed that they were considering casting Pascal in one key role. Starring Murray Bartlett, Russell Tovey and Jonathan Groff, the TV series ran for two seasons from 2014-15 and followed Patrick, Dom and Agustin as they navigate life as gay men in San Francisco.

Russell Tovey in HBO drama Looking with Jonathan Groff.
Russell Tovey in HBO drama Looking with Jonathan Groff. (John P. Johnson)

To mark ten years since the first series was released, casting director Carmen Cuba and director Andrew Haigh – the filmmaker behind the Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal-starring All of Us Strangers – reflected on the journey towards creating it in an interview with GQ.

“I can’t remember there being pressure to cast bigger names. And then it’s also, what were those bigger names? We didn’t need all of the cast to be queer in real life, but we certainly wanted some of them to be,” Haigh shared.

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It was Cuba, who has also worked with the likes of Jordan Peele and Ridley Scott, who revealed that Pascal had initially been in the running.

“Especially in TV, you meet a lot of people… Pedro Pascal was someone we met and from that, I put him on Narcos,” she said.

“The thing with Pedro, it was like he was testing on a million things. So many of these things, as you know, in casting, it’s just like scheduling. Does scheduling work? Does the group? Because in this, we were really casting a group.”

Pedro Pascal and sister Lux.
Pedro Pascal and his sister Lux at the 2024 Emmy Awards. (Getty)

Though he didn’t end up being cast, Pascal certainly hasn’t missed out on playing LGBTQ+ roles across his career. Years before Looking was in the works, he starred in the 1999 MTV show Undressed, a series that explored sexual relationships between different genders, sexual orientations and races.

His character Greg’s sexuality was referenced throughout, and he was even credited with the line: “The point is, we’re gay.”

And, of course, in 2023 he starred alongside Ethan Hawke in Pedro Almodóvar’s Strange Way of Life.

As cowboy Silva, he rides across the desert to visit his friend, Sheriff Jake (Ethan Hawke), eventually realising that they aren’t just friends: they’re destined to be lovers.