'The Last of Us' co-creator Craig Mazin explains casting Nick Offerman as Bill

"Behind this rough, angry, closed-off man, there is a humanity."

This article contains spoilers for The Last of Us, Season 1 Episode 3, "Long, Long Time."

^ As far as video game adaptations go, HBO's The Last of Us has proven to be a huge success thus far. Arguably the best show on TV right now, the series aired its third episode this past weekend, and it's another fantastic entry. The episode, titled "Once Upon a Time," focuses on Bill and Frank's journey and lives from the days of the pandemic to the present. A tender, tender, loving episode, "A Long, Long Time" frees us from the relentless action we've seen so far, thanks in no small part to brilliant performances from Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett .

It's worth noting that Bill and Frank's story on screen is very different from what many people see in the game, compared to the storyline of their NPC counterparts in the game. Not content with just telling a brief, unexplored story of their relationship, show creators Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin expand Bill and Frank's story to cover their encounter, love story Live with and with different endings. One thing that hasn't changed in the game, however, is the grumpy survivalist The character is Bill.

Mazin explained why Offerman was cast in the role while speaking with Troy Baker on HBO's Official Podcast. Baker admitted to being surprised by the casting announcement for the role, to which Mazin explained his thinking. “Vince Gilligan [Better Call Saul showrunner] once said that he likes to hire comedians for non-comedy roles,” explains the co-creator. "Because they have an innate humanity behind their drama, they understand the absurdity of the world because that's the bedrock of comedy. I think Nick is a great example of what Vince was saying." Mazin then went on to add, "He just, had a humanity underneath this rough, angry, closed-off guy."

Offerman's portrayal of Bill seemed to work perfectly, as the episode received top ratings from critics. Offerman and Bartlett's brilliant performances resonated immensely with audiences, as despite living in the apocalypse, the pair were able to find each other and share a love that not many are blessed with even in normal times. saw this wonderful show Viewership was even bigger as ratings for the latest episode rose 12 percent. 6.4 million people watched Sunday's episode, and while they'll love the love story, it's worth noting that The Last of Us is about to get even more infectious.

New episodes of the series will air every Sunday night on HBO and HBO Max. You can listen to the full podcast of The Last of Us Episode 3 below:

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