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SYFY WIRE The Last of Us

Pedro Pascal tells 'The Tonight Show' crowd how he forgot about landing 'The Last of Us' role

Pedro Pascal got some very good news about his new HBO show, then promptly forgot about it.

By Matthew Jackson

The Last of Us has risen over the last four weeks to become one of the biggest shows on television, an acclaimed adaptation of an already acclaimed video game story that's made even bigger stars of its two leads, Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey. Obviously, for both Pascal and Ramsey, getting the call that they'd won the core roles in such a high-profile production was big, exciting news...provided they could actually remember that the call came at all.

Pascal stopped by The Tonight Show late last week to tease his appearance hosting Saturday Night Live, and of course host Jimmy Fallon couldn't let him go without asking about The Last of Us and his role as smuggler-turned-surrogate-parent Joel. After praising Pascal's performance on the HBO series, Fallon asked how the role of Joel actually came to the actor. The story started simply: Pascal was sent a batch of scripts for the series by co-creator Craig Mazin, and since he was a fan of Chernobyl, he read them immediately, loved them, and agreed to a conversation. 

All good so far, but then things got a little weird. After another chat with co-creator and video game mastermind Neil Druckmann, Pascal was feeling very excited indeed about his prospects when it came to the series. But that excitement created a little bit of a problem. Because he was in London at the time, the actor had to stay up very late to speak with the creators, and decided to take an Ambien to help himself get to sleep so he could actually rest rather than spend the whole night on an adrenaline high. That would have been fine, but it turns out the conversation with Druckmann wasn't actually the end of his night. 

RELATED: Pedro Pascal & 'SNL' turn 'Mario Kart' into a 'Last of Us'-style apocalyptic drama in hilarious parody

"I take an Ambien to go to sleep just in case," Pascal explained. "They've got my adrenaline going and my hopes up... but I get a call and I get told that I got the job after I took the Ambien. And so I was excited, I guess, but I didn't remember. I woke up in the morning and the first thing that occurred to me was, 'Aww man, I really want that job... I'm gonna wait by the phone all day long. This hasn't happened in a while. I'm gonna think about it all day.'"

Thankfully, Pascal didn't have to spend the entire day lost in an Ambien haze where The Last of Us opportunity felt like nothing more than a dream. All he had to do was look at his phone for the congratulations messages to learn that he did not, in fact, have to wait any longer to find out the good news.

"I was like, 'Oh yeah! I got the job!'" Pascal recalled.

The Last of Us airs Sundays on HBO. You can check out Pascal's full appearance on The Tonight Show, as well as his episode of Saturday Night Live, both streaming right now on Peacock.