Watch: Nick Offerman Admits He Almost Turned Down His Heartbreaking Role in HBO's 'The Last of Us'

by Emell Adolphus

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Sunday February 19, 2023
Originally published on February 2, 2023

Nick Offerman in "The Last of Us"
Nick Offerman in "The Last of Us"  (Source:HBO)

While Nick Offerman's portrayal of Bill in HBO's "The Last of Us" has earned the actor plenty of praise, the "Parks and Rec" star almost turned down the role. During an appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," Offerman revealed that he almost said "no" to playing the character in "The Last of Us" before his wife of nearly twenty years, Megan Mullally, encouraged him to take the part.

"The Last of Us" is an adaptation of the video game of the same title, which was released in 2013. The HBO storyline follows two survivors, Joel (played by Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (played by Bella Ramsey), who need to work together to survive the fungal outbreak that destroyed civilization.

In "The Last of Us" television series Offerman's character Bill is a solitary survivor of the apocalyptic events who lives on his own and is wary of connecting with outsiders in any way. Offerman's episode, titled "Long, Long Time," primarily focuses on the 16-year romance between Offerman's Bill and Murray Bartlett's Frank. Their love story reveals how the pair initially met and their connection to Joel and Tess. Over the course of their relationship, viewers watch the couple grow old together, eventually leading to the pair's decision to end their lives due to Frank's terminal illness.

The episode went viral for its emotional storyline and continues to earn praise. Regarding the compliments that Offerman's plot line received, the actor said to Jimmy Kimmel, "It's a wonderful tsunami of plaudits."

So why did Offerman almost turn down the role of Bill? Well, according to the actor, his busy schedule made him hesitant to tackle any new projects. Offerman said, "I didn't have time on the calendar to say 'yes' to this job, and my incredible goddess of a wife read [the script] — and she said 'You're going to Calgary, buddy,'" the actor said. "'Have fun! You have to do this.'"

The star continued, "The episode began airing on Sunday. We had 6.4 million viewers," Offerman revealed. "HBO, they are so not f—ing around that they send me on 'The Jimmy Kimmel Show 'on Wednesday to cull the stragglers."

He jokingly noted, "The 17 of you that haven't seen it yet, you're in for a treat!"

HBO has already given the well-received drama series an early season 2 renewal. Offerman's full interview with Jimmy Kimmel can be found below.