The Last of Us HBO Star Bella Ramsey Responds to Casting Backlash

HBO’s The Last of Us star Bella Ramsey has responded to the backlash to her casting. The Last of Us is an immensely popular video game and that is largely because of the story and two lead characters. Ellie and Joel are at the center of an emotional, complex story where two totally opposite people grow to become really close, discover love, and find purity in the world around them. Ellie and Joel are such an iconic gaming duo and Hollywood has been pondering an adaptation for so long that many had a lot of time to fan cast the actors they wanted to play them. While Pedro Pascal’s casting as Joel was met with a warm reception, Bella Ramsey was hit with a wave of backlash when she was announced as Ellie.

Many have noted that Bella Ramsey doesn’t really resemble Ellie and some have used this against her as a reason why she shouldn’t have been cast. It’s typical toxic internet users at work, but it really weighed on Ramsey. In a profile piece for the New York Times, it was noted that she was 17 when her casting was announced and Ramsey revealed it was the first time she had any kind of negative reaction to something she was apart of. The Game of Thrones actor turned Last of Us lead noted she didn’t believe the positive comments about her and instead chose to focus on the louder, toxic comments about her appearance which left her with a bad feeling. Showrunner Craig Mazin noted that she dealt with self-doubt and anxiety on set, but was able to filter it out when they yelled “action.” Ramsey stated she only recently became more confident in her abilities, but doesn’t think that confidence will stick around for long.

“It’s only recently that I’ve accepted I am Ellie, and I can do it, and I am a good actor,” she said. “But this will last for a few weeks and then I’ll think I’m terrible again. That’s just the process.” 

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