Nick Offerman Wasn’t The First Choice To Play Bill In HBO’s The Last Of Us

Episode three of HBO's The Last Of Us premiered on Sunday night. If it wasn't evident enough from the headline alone, this article will include spoilers. The episode tells the backstory of Bill and Frank, the roles for whom were perfectly cast. However, its creators have now revealed Nick Offerman was not their first choice for Bill.

Offerman, showrunner Craig Mazin, and Murray Bartlett, who plays Frank, talked all things episode three with GQ, Mazin revealing who he and Neil Druckmann originally wanted as their Bill. The role was supposed to go to Con O'Neill, someone with which Mazin has an existing relationship through his role in Chernobyl. However, O'Neill turned down the opportunity due to a scheduling clash with Our Flag Means Death.

That's when Mazin and Druckmann turned to Offerman, and even then, it wasn't nailed on that the Parks and Recreation star would become the adaptation's Bill. Offerman admitted to GQ that, also due to a scheduling problem, he was going to turn the offer down. That was until he read the script. Offerman then gave his wife Megan Mullally the script to read, at which point she confirmed to him what he already knew. That he was going to accept the role.

“Megan wants to go on record as taking full credit for me doing this because in our household it was an impossibility and she said with the clarity of purpose of the Greek goddess Hera, 'You have to do this.',” Offerman said. Now that the episode is out there, it's hard to imagine even the tiniest bit of Offerman thinks he made a mistake.

Offerman and Bartlett's performances are already being widely praised. Reviews for the show painted episode three as the best of the series, even though it differs greatly from how Bill and Frank's story is told in the games. Ellie never gets the chance to meet Bill in the show since he and Frank have already taken their lives by the time she and Joel show up. You also get the chance to actually meet Frank, something omitted from the games. Bartlett revealed he needed to talk to friends who had played the game to help him establish a backstory for his reimagined character.

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