The Last of Us Showrunner Explains Casting Original Voice Actors: “They Needed To Be There”

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Ahead of The Last of Us release on HBO, fans were ecstatic to have found certain easter eggs in the trailer, such as the early realization that Ashley Johnson (the original video game voice actor of Ellie) was playing a huge role in the series, in fact, even Troy Baker (the original video game voice actor of Joel Miller) also got to be a part of the series. The Last of Us showrunner explains why they couldn’t resist casting the original voice actors in the HBO show.

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Seeing as the two aforementioned actors bear no resemblance to their video game counterparts, the showrunners Neil Druckmann and Craig Mazin still gave them . Recently speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Mazin expounds that the casting of the original actors is not just meant for the “fanservice” but in a way, it connects the game itself to the HBO series. Check out his full comment below:

“Ashley Johnson is in her 30s and clearly not gonna play a 14-year-old girl,” Mazin said, “But it was important for us to find space for them [in the show] because they matter. It’s not just about fan service. It’s a dramatic genetic connection between the game and the show. They needed to be there.”

Pedro Pascal as Joel Miller and Bella Ramsey as Ellie in HBO's The Last of Us
Pedro Pascal as Joel Miller and Bella Ramsey as Ellie in HBO's The Last of Us
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In just the official trailer of The Last of Us, we were teased on seeing Ashley Johnson portray the mother of Ellie, which is a great tribute to her video game role. As for Troy Baker, he will portray James, a senior member of a survivor group of cannibals, in which The Last of Us fans hyped about, seeing as there is a possibility of Baker being beaten to death by Joel (Pedro Pascal) himself, the irony.


You can now catch The Last of Us currently available to stream on HBO Max.


ALSO READ: The Last of Us Episode 1 Ending Song Teases Possible Episode 2 Revelation