HBO's The Last Of Us Star Seemingly Revealed A Parks And Rec Star's Casting

Nick Offerman on Parks and Recreation
(Image credit: NBC)

Things appear to be moving right along for HBO’s live-action adaptation of The Last of Us. Fans have been chomping at the bit for more info on this new take on Naughty Dog’s acclaimed video game franchise and, so far, they’ve been treating to a few  behind-the-scenes treats. There have also been a number of casting reports over the past year, which indicate that the show has amassed a talented group of stars. Well, it would appear that you can now add another to that list, as Parks and Recreation alum Nick Offerman has seemingly been revealed as a cast member, thanks to one of the show’s stars.

The surprising news comes from Murray Bartlett, who is set to play the role of Frank on the upcoming series. The actor was recently interviewed by The Guardian, during which he teased his work on the HBO drama series. And it sounds like he got to spend a significant amount of time with the comedic actor on the set:

It’s co-created by Craig Mazin, who did Chernobyl. The scripts he’s written blew my head off. It’s an epic show, but beautifully human and intimate. We filmed it in Calgary. A lot of my scenes are with Nick Offerman. Playing off him was awesome.

Considering how many Last of Us cast members have already been reported or officially confirmed, it’s intriguing that fans would learn of the Ron Swanson actor’s casting in this way. The actor is certainly a fan-favorite, and one would think that the network would want to tout him as one of the stars involved. Though there could be specific reasons as to why his apparent role has been kept under wraps. 

First off, it’s very possible that he may not have a substantial role in the post-apocalyptic proceedings. Previously announced cast members fell into either the starring or recurring categories. So seeing as how the Parks and Rec star wasn’t announced, he could simply be a guest star in a single episode. Of course, this is only an assumption at this point but, if it does turn out to be true, it would be somewhat bittersweet. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see Nick Offerman fending off hordes of infected individuals over the course of multiple episodes?

There’s also the possibility that the actor is playing an original character created exclusively for the show. It’s already been revealed that LoU video game alum Jeffrey Pierce is playing a fresh face, so the same could certainly be true here. What’s interesting is that Nick Offerman will be spending time with Murray Bartlett’s Frank, the partner of Con O'Neill’s Bill. This could mean that Offerman’s character has ties to the two. And if Frank and Bill’s story plays out like it did in the original game, there should be plenty of drama here.

The Hearts Beat Loud star joins a cast that features The Mandalorian’s Pedro Pascal in the lead role of Joel alongside Game of Thrones’ Bella Ramsey, who plays Ellie. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. alum Gabriel Luna plays the former’s younger brother, Tommy, while Merle Dandridge and Anna Torv play Marlene and Tess, respectively. Nico Parker will also play the role of Sarah, Joel’s daughter. 

HBO is definitely sparing no expense when it comes to The Last of Us and, hopefully, the cast and crew can effectively honor the source material, while updating things accordingly. Nick Offerman is a serious gain for the project, and it’ll be interesting to see who he ends up playing. Fans can look forward to seeing the first season premiere in 2022.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.