Troy Baker, who starred in The Last of Us, is currently as invested in the series as anyone can be. In The Last of Us and The Last of Us Part II, Baker played the actor who portrayed Joel Miller. Baker also has a small part in the upcoming The Last of Us HBO series. However, Baker disclosed a flashback scene he filmed as Joel but which was cut from the games while speaking to ComicBook.com and ET's The Last of Pods show:
"I think it's a wonderful exercise for an actor to come in with a backstory," Baker began to explain. "If it's not there on the page, then make something up, if it's necessary... There was a shoot that we did nobody knows about, I'm going to get in trouble for saying this, in between Part One and Part Two, where we were just kind of testing out some new tech, and so just Neil and I went down to a different stage than we shot on down in San Diego, and he was like, 'I want to do a couple of scenes from this, because I don't really have anything written so far, but I have an idea of the scene for this. Are you comfortable just kind of running a scene by yourself?'
So there's a scene that we just kind of made up on the fly about Joel going into a bar. And so there are all of these backstory moments that we get to find out what happened; where's Sarah's mom? What happened to that relationship? What is the schism between he and Tommy?"
There is a significant amount of Joel's past that is just not provided to the player in The Last of Us games. By the time the game begins, Joel is an aged, guarded man whose past life has long since passed. By the time the second game starts, he has finished any opening up he may have done with people nearby and is in a more somber and solemn state. Everything works out for the games since players simply need to be focused on Joel's main motivation, which is to protect Ellie, to inhabit and play as him (or vice versa).
Of course, the HBO series The Last of Us has a different plot (as is often pointed out). Regarding personalities, backstories, and lore, viewers feel there are many issues that need to be addressed. The HBO creative team for The Last of Us is aware of this (Craig Mazin, Neil Druckmann). As Baker noted, the program is making good use of its chance to elaborate on material that the games didn't need to. That we now would have the ability to explore more backstories to learn more about who we're watching
Are you psyched to learn more about Joel? I know we're all psyched for the Bloater being teased in all the trailers! Let's hear you down in the comments