The dopamine drip was a little too good for his own good.
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Nick Offerman made a huge splash as Bill in the third episode of HBO’s The Last of Us (opens in new tab), but it turns out that he doesn’t actually play videogames himself. In a recent appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel Show, Offerman said he tried his hand at it once, long ago, but decided to give up after just a couple of weeks.
“About 25 years ago, I played my last videogame,” Offerman said. “And I’m very indulgent. I lost a couple weeks to a videogame called Banjo Kazooie. Two weeks went by, and I mean, I was like, oh my God, the slow dopamine is so delicious, then it’s over, and you’re like, yes, I won! And immediately I’m like, what have I done with my life?
“So I decided I’m never going to do that again. And so thankfully, because games have gotten so good, like The Last of Us, that I think I’d be in a basement and I wouldn’t even be going to audition for shows like this.”
For the record, I absolutely believe Offerman’s story. Not because Banjo Kazooie is that overwhelmingly addictive, but because it’s way too specific and niche for a made-up tale about videogames. As Sean Connery said in The Untouchables (opens in new tab), “Who would claim to be that, who was not?”
Offerman’s arc closely follows that of fellow beloved thespian David Harbour, who said during a Netflix Geeked Week livestream last year that World of Warcraft ruined his life (opens in new tab). It took him a lot longer to pull out of the spiral, though: He lost an entire year to WoW. Yet they both ended up back in games in the end, Offerman in The Last of Us and Harbour in a World of Warcraft: Dragonflight livestream (opens in new tab).
Of course, they both stand in sharp contrast to (you knew this was coming) Henry Cavill, the rockjaw movie star who’s also a committed PC gamer, just like us (opens in new tab)—and who has actively pursued his passion for gaming into not just one, but two major projects, The Witcher (opens in new tab) and Warhammer 40,000 (opens in new tab).
Offerman’s move into game-based roles also differs from Cavill’s in a very big way: He told Kimmel that he wasn’t going to take the role at all, but his wife made him do it.
“When I got the script, Craig Mason wrote the script, he did Chernobyl among other things, and that guy seems to know what he’s doing,” Offerman said. “He sent me the script, and I didn’t have time on the calendar to say ‘yes’ to this job. And my incredible goddess of a wife read it, and she said, ‘You’re going to Calgary, buddy. Have fun. You have to do this.'”
Offerman didn’t say whether his wife, Megan Mullally, is a big gamer herself—only that she’s the “curator” who makes these sorts of decisions on his behalf.