[This post contains spoilers for The Last of Us season finale]
Throughout season one, HBO’s The Last of Us has cast performers from the Naughty Dog video games in key parts. Good! The acting in The Last of Us Part I, as it’s now known, and The Last of Us Part II is top notch. And Troy Baker, who plays Joel in the games and David’s right-hand man James on the show, and Merle Dandridge, who is Marlene in both, deserve the live action roles.
The season finale will also feature an actress from the video games in a big role. The Last of Us Twitter account shared a photo of a pregnant woman in the woods. “Anna,” the tweet reads. Mini spoiler alert, but Anna is Ellie’s mom, and she’s played by Ashley Johnson, who provided the voice and motion capture for Ellie in the games. It’s like she’s giving birth… to herself? Weird.
“There are other stories that were written since the game had come out for different projects that, for one reason or another, didn’t happen,” The Last of Us creator Neil Druckmann told Rotten Tomatoes about adding Anna to the show (she’s never seen, only mentioned, in the games).
He continued, “When Craig [Mazin] and I started talking about the story and breaking it down, I mentioned some of those to him, and he was wide-eyed like a fan and said, ‘Oh my God, we got to put these on the screen, we’ve got to get them on the show.’ Ashley Johnson plays Ellie’s mom, and that was one of those stories that were near and dear to my heart, and I’m so glad that it gets to live.”
Anna. #TheLastOfUs pic.twitter.com/w99bQ1f95t
— The Last of Us (@TheLastofUsHBO) March 8, 2023
The Last of Us season one wraps up this Sunday, at the same time as the Oscars.