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Nick Offerman says his wife made him take The Last of Us role

Nick Offerman says that his wife Megan Mullally told him that he had to take the role of Bill in HBO’s The Last of Us.

The Last of Us is proving to be an enormous hit for HBO, particularly the third episode featuring Nick Offerman, but the actor told Jimmy Kimmel that he very nearly didn’t take the role… until his wife made the choice for him.

During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Nick Offerman said that although he wanted to join The Last of Us, he didn’t think he’d have time to do it. “I’m a huge fan of [series co-creator] Craig [Mazin], and so I knew, ‘Here’s a script from Craig and it’s for his new show and it’s going to be something very special,’” Offerman said. “It was in a time when I didn’t have time to go do it, so it was this immediate dilemma. I didn’t even want to read it.” Thankfully, Megan Mullally, Offerman’s wife, also read the script and told him he had to do it. “She said, ‘You’re going to Calgary, buddy. Have fun! You have to do this,’” Offerman said. Now fans of the emotional roller coaster of an episode know who to thank.

Nick Offerman plays Bill, a reclusive survivalist who finds love with Frank (Murray Bartlett), a fellow survivor. While Offerman may have seemed like an odd choice for the heart-breaking role, The Last of Us showrunner Craig Mazin took inspiration from Vince Gilligan in wanting to cast a comedic actor. “Well, I remember Vince Gilligan, who is, you know, even though I’ve never taken a class with Professor Gilligan, I’m happy enough to know him, and I’ve studied his work,” Mazin told TVInsider. “And one of the things that Vince Gilligan has always said is when in doubt, hire funny people–cast funny people. If you look at Breaking Bad, he’s the guy who’s saying, ‘Hey, you know what, the dad for Malcolm in the Middle, right?’ Like everyone else thinks Bryan Cranston is a funny guy. He’s like, ‘Well, what if he was Shakespearean and tragic?’” Mazin added, “Funny people have a connection that I think is even stronger to what it means to be human. And being funny is harder. Honestly, it’s harder than being dramatic. If you can be really, really funny, you have the capacity to be really, really dramatic.

The Last of Us series takes place “20 years after modern civilization has been destroyed by a deadly virus. Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone to the Fireflies, a cure-searching organization. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal, heartbreaking journey, as they both must traverse across the U.S. and depend on each other for survival.” You can check out a review of The Last of Us from our own Alex Maidy right here.

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