Pedro Pascal has added another accolade to his growing list of achievements after winning the Best Hero award at the 2023 MTV Movie & TV Awards. The actor's performance as Joel Miller in HBO's The Last of Us earned him the Golden Popcorn, as voted by audiences. Pascal also accepted the Best Duo award on behalf of his co-star, Bella Ramsey.
In his video acceptance speech, Pascal expressed his appreciation for the award, calling it "the absolute world" to him. He also acknowledged his roots as a fan of MTV, saying that he grew up watching the network. Other nominees in the Best Hero category included Diego Luna (Andor), Jenna Ortega (Wednesday), Paul Rudd (Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania), and Tom Cruise (Top Gun: Maverick). Pascal and Ramsey's pairing as Joel and Ellie in The Last of Us beat out other duos such as Camila Mendes and Maya Hawke (Do Revenge), Jenna Ortega and Thing (Wednesday), Simona Tabasco and Beatrice Grannò (The White Lotus), and Tom Cruise and Miles Teller (Top Gun: Maverick). The Last of Us, which is based on the popular video game of the same name by Naughty Dog, scored five nominations at the MTV Movie & TV Awards. The series premiered earlier this year on HBO and quickly became a hit, prompting the network to order a second season. In the show, Pascal portrays the hardened survivor Joel Miller, who navigates a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by a deadly fungal infection that has turned much of the population into mindless, flesh-eating monsters.
From the very first episode of "The Last of Us," Pascal's performance as Joel Miller captivated audiences with his portrayal of a man struggling to survive in a world that has taken everything from him. With his grizzled exterior and hardened demeanor, Pascal perfectly captures the spirit of a man who has seen too much and is desperately trying to hold onto what little humanity he has left.
Throughout the course of the show, Pascal brings depth and nuance to his portrayal of Joel, showcasing the character's inner turmoil as he wrestles with his past and his relationship with the young girl Ellie, whom he is tasked with protecting. Pascal's performance is particularly powerful in the moments where Joel is forced to confront the harsh realities of the world around him, such as when he is forced to kill innocent people to protect Ellie or when he is confronted with his own mortality.
Pascal's performance in "The Last of Us" has been praised by both fans and critics alike, with many hailing it as one of the standout performances of his career. In addition to his strong portrayal of Joel, Pascal also showcases his range as an actor, bringing moments of levity and warmth to his scenes with Ellie and other characters.
Overall, Pedro Pascal's performance in "The Last of Us" is a testament to his talent as an actor and his ability to bring depth and nuance to complex characters. As the show moves forward with its second season, fans are eagerly anticipating what new challenges and emotional journeys lie ahead for Joel and Ellie, and the continued excellence that Pascal is sure to bring to his role. Francesca Orsi, Executive Vice President of HBO Programming, praised the show's success, saying that the team had "defined a genre" with their "masterful debut season." Co-creator Neil Druckmann expressed his gratitude for the audience's support and excitement for the upcoming season, while Craig Mazin, the show's other co-creator, expressed his eagerness to continue telling the story of Joel and Ellie. The Last of Us season 1 is currently streaming on HBO Max.