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Pedro Pascal Was Almost Cast in ‘Looking’ Opposite Murray Bartlett a Decade Before Co-Starring in ‘The Last of Us’

Pedro Pascal almost joined the HBO family years prior to “The Last of Us.”

Before Pascal’s TV rise with “Narcos,” “Game of Thrones,” “The Mandalorian,” and most recently, “The Last of Us,” Pascal was approached to join the ensemble cast of the 2014 show “Looking” that focused on a friend group of gay men in San Francisco.

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Casting director Carmen Cuba told GQ in a 10-year anniversary piece that Pascal was considered for a role; Cuba later cast him in “Narcos” after meeting.

“Especially in TV, you meet a lot of people,” Cuba said. “Pedro Pascal was someone we met [for a role on ‘Looking’] and from that, I put him on ‘Narcos.’ The thing with Pedro, it was like he was testing on a million things. So many of these things, as you know in casting, it’s just like scheduling. Does scheduling work? Does the group? Because in this, we were really casting a group.”

“All of Us Strangers” writer/director Andrew Haigh helmed the pilot of the series coming off his feature debut “Weekend.” He told GQ of casting “Looking,” “I can’t remember there being pressure to cast bigger names. And then it’s also, who were those bigger names? We didn’t need all of the cast to be queer in real life, but we certainly wanted some of them to be.”

The series ended up starring Raúl Castillo, Jonathan Groff, Frankie J. Alvarez, Russell Tovey, and Pascal’s future “The Last of Us” co-star Murray Bartlett, who led the Emmy-winning “Long, Long Time” episode.

Bartlett revealed to GQ that before being cast in “Looking,” he questioned whether he wanted to exit Hollywood as a whole.

“I was at a point where I’d been like, ‘Am I doing what I should be doing? Maybe I shouldn’t be an actor anymore.’ I’d been living in New York for many years and I’d had some good opportunities and everything, but I was just feeling like things weren’t going the way that I hoped they would. I was feeling frustrated,” Bartlett said.

As for Pascal, he later took on a queer role in Pedro Almodóvar’s Western short film “Strange Way of Life.” The actor is set to star in “Gladiator 2” alongside lead actor Paul Mescal and join the MCU with “Fantastic Four.”

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