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HBO's The Last Of Us Had One More Intense Deleted Scene With Troy Baker

Spoilers ahead for HBO's "The Last of Us."

"When We Are in Need," the eighth episode of HBO's "The Last of Us," finally brought one of the stars of the original games into the adaptation. Troy Baker, the original actor behind Joel, played the role of James in the episode, marking a villainous turn for the actor. James works with Scott Shepherd's villainous David to provide food for their town by any means necessary — even cannibalism. Although James meets a graphic end in the episode, it turns out there was more footage shot for the character, including an unscripted deleted scene that sounds pretty intense.


In an exclusive interview with Deadline, Troy Baker broke down his approach to playing James, noting that he found the character to be much more than a simple villain. Although James functions in the story as David's right-hand man, he's not just a heavy. Rather than simply follow David's orders blindly, Baker believes James is always trying to justify the terrible things he's doing as a necessary step towards a better future. As Baker explained to Deadline, "[James'] mentality is more like, "Whatever will get us through the winter, whatever will get us to our true promised land, that's what I'm willing to do.'"

However, in Baker's interpretation, James still sees Ellie (played by Bella Ramsey) as something of a threat, because she might be the equal that David is really looking for. It's perhaps this frame of mind that led to a particularly intense deleted scene between James and Ellie.


James and Ellie originally stared each other down in a deleted scene

"Here is something that people will never see that just exists for my own benefit, and I both love that and hate it because [Bella Ramsey] is so talented; it's scary," Baker told Deadline. A scene that was filmed and went unused sees James entering the room where David is keeping Ellie captive. James asks to have a moment alone with Ellie, which then leads to a quiet battle of wills.


"So, David leaves, and in this scene, not scripted at all, I just give [fierce] dog eyes to Ellie," Baker explained. "And every [take], it became this war without words to see who would win this brief spar. And every time, Ellie wins."

Although this scene was ultimately deemed unnecessary for the overall episode, fans will no doubt be curious to see if it eventually ends up being released in some form. Perhaps this intense stare-down will make it onto a home video release for the first season of "The Last of Us."