The Last of Us’ Joel is more villain than hero, according to Troy Baker

Media often begs to be interpreted in different ways. The Last of Us‘ Joel, for example, is a character that many considered to play the role of the hero, given how he was the playable character for most the experience. However, Troy Baker, Joel’s voice actor, doesn’t quite think the character’s morality that cut and dried.

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Speaking to Gamebyte during Manchester Comic Con, Baker had an interesting response to a question about his preference over playing “good” or “evil” characters.

“[With The Last of Us] you assume that Joel is the hero and David [played by Nolan North] is the villain, but everyone is the hero of their own story,” he explained. “I firmly believe that David believes he’s doing what is best for his people, and he is the hero in his story.”

Baker elaborated on his reasoning concerning Joel’s thoughts and how he, as the actor, interpreted them.

“Joel, I don’t think deals in those terms at all,” he said. “I don’t think Joel believes he’s a hero. If he was to lean anywhere I think that Joel would consider himself a villain, which is why he can say that he’s been on both sides. Like he can say ‘I’m just a guy trying to get by. I’m not here to save anybody, I’m not here to upset anyone’s plans. I’m just trying to live one day at a time.’”

Baker then revealed his preferred roles. As the previous statements hinted at, he is more inclined to playing the bad guy.

“That said, once you get to play the Joker, playing the ‘villain’ to the player’s perspective is way more fun. Way more fun,” he admitted.

If you’ve played The Last of Us, you’ll probably remember the ending and the performances that make it difficult to have a conclusive read on what is going on. It begs for multiple interpretations and is likely why so many revere it for its story and deep characters.

It’s unclear what Joel’s role will the in The Last of Us Part 2, but Troy Baker has mentioned that players “are not ready”, so we are expecting some shocking revelations. According to hints from Ellie’s voice actress Ashley Johnson, The Last of Us Part 2 will release in February 2019.