“I did talk to Matthew": The Last of Us creator Craig Mazin reveals that Matthew McConaughey was considered for the lead role in the hit HBO series

Matthew McConaughey and Craig Mazin (Images via IMDb/Josh Telles)
Matthew McConaughey and Craig Mazin (Images via IMDb/Josh Telles)

The Last of Us co-creator Craig Mazin recently revealed that he had initiated conversations with Matthew McConaughey during the pre-production stages of the hit HBO series. Mazin, during an appearance on the Happy Sad Confused with Josh Horowitz podcast, mentioned that Pedro Pascal was always the first choice to play Joel Miller, but he had to look for an alternative because the Narcos actor wasn't available during that time period.

Craig Mazin further revealed that Matthew McConaughey's agent gave him a call and hinted at the Interstellar star being available. However, he disclosed that he liked the way things eventually turned out, adding that the show would've been "great" but "different" if McConaughey had played the lead, calling him "an amazing actor."

Speaking to host Joshua Horowitz, Mazin said:

"I did talk to Matthew. I can’t say that it was like a series of conversations. It was more of a, "Hey, here’s something to talk about." Pedro was on our list from the start. We were told he was unavailable, and then as we were floundering about a little bit, I got a call from his agent who said, "You know, he actually might be available."

He continued:

"Matthew McConaughey is an amazing actor. I’m sure it would have been great but it would have been different, and I like the one that we made, so what can I say, I think it worked out."

Craig Mazin had "the most wonderful Zoom" of his life with Pedro Pascal

Over the course of the podcast, Craig Mazin recalled Pedro Pascal's initial response to the script that he sent over to him and that The Mandalorian star had read it within a day despite shooting for a film in London. He went on to share about the Zoom call that they got on soon after, calling it "the most wonderful Zoom" he had ever had.

Mazin also added that Pedro Pascal was "immediately insightful" about the project and that he thought that his initial response was "a pretty good sign."

The 51-year-old screenwriter and director stated:

"Normally when you send scripts to actors like this, you’re lucky if you get a read within a month. I sent it on a Friday, Saturday morning I get a call…he loves it, he wants to get on a Zoom. That was a pretty good sign. I had what I think was maybe the most wonderful Zoom I’ve ever had. I mean…just love at first sight, and he was so immediately insightful about it."

Craig Mazin on The Last of Us season 2

Speaking on the red carpet for Deadline's FYC House event in May, Craig Mazin assured that the crew was going to "push the technology" and continue raising the bar. The Chernobyl and Hangover writer, without revealing anything about the upcoming season, said that the first installment had taught them a lot and that they had learned how to deliver scenes better.

"We’re certainly going to push the technology that we use forward. We learned so much, particularly in regard to the infected and how to better deliver scenes with them. So, we’re just going to keep moving the bar up and up and up. That’s kind of our call to arms," Mazin said.

Apart from Pascal, The Last of Us also stars Bella Ramsay, Nick Offerman, Murray Bartlett, Gabriel Luna, Merle Dandridge, Nico Parker, Anna Torv, and Jeffrey Pierce. Season 2 is currently under production and is projected to be released in 2025.

Quick Links

Edited by Babylona Bora