‘The Last of Us’ star used his franchise experience to prepare for the video game adaptation

Gabriel Luna - Getty
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With HBO’s The Last of Us swiftly approaching its Jan. 15 release date, fans of the video game franchise can’t seem to wait for the upcoming cinematic revamp. Plenty of the show’s stars have shared their thoughts on what it means to be a part of one of the most inventive intellectual properties of the last decade — and it’s clear that the filmmakers involved have taken great care in bringing this series to life.

The Last of Us is a story that his been ripe for a television or film adaptation since the moment it was released. It’s dark, gritty, and most of all — undeniably human. This is a story that pits the best and worst of, well, us against each other. Now, the actors and creators in charge of making it a reality have begun to discuss their process.

Gabriel Luna, best known for his roles in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and Terminator: Dark Fate, sat down for an interview with CBR to discuss how his experience on other big-budget projects have prepared him for the role of Tommy Miller — Joel’s (Pedro Pascal) beloved younger brother.

“It ended up being a matter of refreshing many of the skills that I’ve acquired. All the combat training I’ve ever done — and whether it be for Matador, for the Ghost Rider, for Terminator or any of those things. I once played a border guard [for] a picture called Transpecos. That experience was very important… to have somewhat of a military experience.”

We won’t sugar coat it, Gabriel Luna has some big shoes to fill when it comes to taking on Tommy Miller. Apart from Joel and Ellie, Tommy is a true-blue fan favorite — and a crucial part of the overall story set within The Last of Us. Luna certainly seems up for the challenge though, and stressed his adherence to the source material.

“I did take a trip out to my buddy’s ranch in Colorado before we started shooting. I remembered some of the elements of the game and the riding was important. So I went out riding, I got a horse out there named Pepsi, who loves me. She’s a sweetheart.”

It looks it pays to have a little action experience in situations like this, and Gabriel Luna has that in spades. Only time will tell if this new show can live up to the hype and expectation set by the original games. Here’s hoping it tugs at our heartstrings, and scares the crap out of us in the process.