A decade after the award-winning release of The last of us video game, the TV adaptation is finally here. HBOs The last of us follows the familiar story of Joel and Ellie, two survivors trying to make their way in a post-apocalyptic world. Pedro Pascal, who plays Joel, is no stranger to the world of guiding a child on a quest for safety (see: The Mandalorian), but who plays Ellie, his young charge?
That would be Bella Ramsey – and she may only be 19 years old, but she’s already built quite the resume on screen. The first role of the English actor was playing Lyanna Mormont Game of Thrones, what makes The last of us a Thrones kind of reunion. Pascal also had a short-lived role as Oberyn Martell, but his time on the show did not overlap with Ramsey’s. “It was this cool little unspoken thing we had,” Ramsey told Kakuchopurei, adding that being Thrones alumni, albeit from different eras, “immediately bonded” the pair. It was also a good thing because as Ramsey related The New York Times, filming took place for almost a year, leaving her in a “bubble”, separate from the rest of the world.
Ramsey also starred in a much more kid-friendly series, Netflix’s the worst witch, for which she received two nominations and one win for Best Young Performer at the BAFTAs. Most recently, she played the titular teenager in Lena Dunham’s film adaptation of Catherine called Birdy.
Like Dunham, Ramsey may soon add “writer” to her film and TV resume. As she told The New York Times, she is working on a script that she started at the age of 14.
Although Ramsey has earned a lot of credit for her The last of us role (the TBEN said she’s a “remarkable performer” who “steals every scene she’s in”), the actor almost didn’t get the job.
“I’ve seriously considered that maybe I don’t want to be famous, so I’m not going to do this show because it’s going to drive me to a place where I don’t want to go in terms of being seen and known,” she said in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I like to blend in and hide.”
Ramsey said she did indeed “see it all” regarding critical comments about her casting, but told the magazine why she committed to the role anyway. “Ellie felt like a character I already had in me,” she said. “Like the skins you wear in a video game? She was already one of my skins.
In addition to embracing her inner Ellie, the BAFTA winner has also been open about other aspects of her identity. The New York Time that her “gender has always been very changeable” – and that today she would select “non-binary” on an official form. “I’m just a person,” Ramsey continued. “Gender isn’t something I really like, but pronouns-wise, I really don’t care.”
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