You had us at “post-apocalypse”. That’s the hellscape we’re plunged into, in The Last of Us. Set in 2033, HBO’s new drama thrusts us into the not-so-distant, not-so-glorious future as we follow Joel and Ellie across a devastated US of A, which may or may not contain zombies. With a rampant infection raging (we can relate), it’s a fight for survival that’s sure to keep us on the edge of our seats.
Based on the video game of the same name, it’s an interesting departure for co-creator and co-writer Craig Mazin who previously gave us the hard-hitting, based-on-a-true-story HBO drama, Chernobyl. Of course, before he did that gritty show Mazin was mostly penning spoof comedies, so never pigeonhole a writer…their interests are many. By his side as writer and creator is video game extraordinaire Neil Druckmann, the creative director behind the game on which the series is based. That’s quite the formidable pair! And bringing their words to life is a fantastic cast, many of whom we’re sure you’ll recognise. Let’s take a look at some of the main players.
We’re still traumatised by his exit from Game of Thrones because Pascal’s portrayal of Oberyn Martell was truly memorable. And that’s saying a lot, considering how chock a block full of awesome characters and actors this show was. Since Game of Thrones, he’s gone on to appear in shows such as Graceland, The Mentalist, Narcos, and The Mandalorian. His film credits include The Great Wall, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, The Equalizer 2, and Wonder Woman 1984. In The Last of Us, he portrays Joel Miller, a survivor hired to smuggle Ellie, a young teen, out of a quarantine zone.
Ellie is portrayed by fellow Game of Thrones actor, Bella Ramsey. She entered GoT a couple of years after Pascal’s exit but left just as much of a mark, as the young but tough Lyanna Mormont. Ramsey was just thirteen when she appeared in Game of Thrones (her first acting credit) and has since gone on to appear in The Worst Witch and His Dark Materials. She most recently appeared as Jane Grey (history’s Nine Days' Queen) in Becoming Elizabeth.
Cast as Joel’s younger brother Tommy, Luna has appeared in several series including Matador, True Detective, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. He’s also no stranger to post-apocalyptic action having appeared in the sixth Terminator film, Terminator: Dark Fate.
Fringe fans will definitely recognise this Aussie actress, who played Olivia Dunham throughout the show’s five seasons. She may have had to encounter the weird and the bizarre in Fringe, but she’s sure to encounter all kinds of different weird in The Last of Us, as Joel’s smuggling partner, Tess. But we just know she’s going to be more than up to the task.
If you luuurved The Flight Attendant you would have seen Dandridge as Kim in the first season. But fans of Station 19 will also recognise her, as Fire Chief Natasha Ross. In The Last of Us, she plays Marlene. The head of a resistance movement known as the Fireflies, Dandridge also portrays the character through voice and motion capture in the game.
This Kiwi actress has been impressing since her debut in 1994, as Pauline Parker in Heavenly Creatures, an excellent early Peter Jackson film that will creep the creep out of you. She’s probably best known as Rose in Two and Half Men, but she’s got an impressive list of movies and shows under her belt. One of her most recent (and a must-watch) is Yellowjackets (we can't wait for season 2!). In The Last of Us she plays an original character, called Kathleen.
Comedy fans will be familiar with Nick Offerman. In addition to his stand-up, he’s appeared in comedies such as 21 Jump Street and We’re the Millers – and of course, Parks and Recreation fans will remember him as Ron Swanson. In The Last of Us, he plays a survivalist called Bill.
Who are you looking forward to watching most?
Watch all these great actors in The Last of Us, starting Monday 16 January Express from the US at 03:00, and later that day at 21:00, on M-Net channel 101.
Feature image: HBO.