Ellie actor Bella Ramsey discusses how making The Last of Us “taught me to curse” like her character, with Pedro Pascal testifying to her abilities.
Bella Ramsey’s proficiency in swearing increased tenfold thanks to her work as Ellie on The Last of Us.
During a roundtable interview attended by CBR, Ramsey and co-star Pedro Pascal spoke fondly about the character’s profane vocabulary, believing that it helped the two of them emotionally identify with Ellie. “A great portion of my relatability to Ellie has to do with her love of puns and her love of cursing,” she said, admitting, “Ellie actually taught me to curse and taught me how to do it well.” Pascal concurred, stating, “Bella curses very, very naturally off camera.”
According to co-showrunner Craig Mazin, casting Ellie took over 100 auditions to find an actor who was “funny, tough, violent and protective of herself,” as well as someone who could “make us believe that she’s going to have this connection with Joel.” Among those who auditioned included former Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams and Booksmart actor Kaitlyn Dever, before Mazin and Neil Druckmann settled on Ramsey, whose first acting credit was Thrones‘ Lyanna Mormont. Despite being encouraged to avoid playing The Last of Us game while filming was underway, Ramsey called Ellie “the best character that I’ve gotten to play” at the roundtable, stating, “I hope to continue to play her if enough people watch the show and we get more seasons.”
The Rest of the Cast of The Last of Us
In addition to adapting most of the 2013 video game’s characters, The Last of Us will feature cameos from some of the game’s voice actors, including Joel and Ellie’s original actors Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson. Merle Dandridge, meanwhile, will physically reprise her game role as Marlene, confirming that The Last of Us will reveal bigger details about the Fireflies leader’s mysterious past. While Dandridge refused to spoil any big reveals, the trailers hinted at more conversations between Marlene and Ellie, as well a woman played by Johnson holding a newborn baby in her arms.
The Last of Us‘ nine-episode first season was shot on a budget of roughly $10 million an episode, exceeding that of Game of Thrones‘ early production budgets. However, despite featuring the game’s iconic cordycep zombie antagonists like Clickers and Bloaters, the HBO show will focus less on gory violence compared to its video game counterpart. This, as Druckmann recalled, was a conscious tactic by Mazin to “take out all the violence except for the very essential” in order to make the Infected scarier and help The Last of Us work as an adaptation.
The Last of Us premieres on HBO and HBO Max January 15.