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The Last of Us showrunner explains why he chose Bella Ramsey over Maisie Williams to play Ellie

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Game of Thrones prequel House of The Dragon completed its first season last year, and we might have to wait for at least a year for the second season to arrive. The next big thing on HBO’s calendar is the TV adaptation of the popular game The Last of Us. Headed by two Game of Thrones alum as the leads, Pedro Pascal as Joel and Bella Ramsey as Ellie, it is one the most highly anticipated projects of 2023 and will be airing on January 15, 2023. However, co-showrunner Neil Druckmann revealed Bella Ramsey was not the first choice for Ellie, it was another Game of Thrones star.

 
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Druckmann told The Hollywood Reporter that whoever was cast as Ellie in any adaptation would be able to appear “tough and vulnerable and wise beyond [their] years and also have a potential for violence” all at once. He revealed there had been “dozens and dozens” of actors in talks for the role as soon as the idea of an adaptation was first considered, including Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams and Booksmart’s Kaitlyn Dever.

However, when the time came for HBO’s adaptation of The Last of Us to truly get going, Williams had grown too old for the role, and they had to restart the casting process. That is when Druckmann met Ramsey, with the actor going from audition to being cast as Ellie in less than a month.

“Bella felt so real,” Druckmann recalled Ramsey’s audition. “It was like Ellie realized in live action. It didn’t feel like watching an actor.”

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Read Next: HBO’s The Last of Us won’t go beyond source material to avoid Game of Thrones mishap

 

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