The Last of Us: here are all the cameos of the actors of the game in season 1

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The Last of Us is not only a faithful adaptation to the video game, but the series had fun putting its actors back into it.

If season 1 of The Last of Us has greatly convinced us (as well as a good part of the press ), some might argue that this success is due to the great loyalty of the series to the video game it adapts. In addition to having had the brilliant idea of ​​taking Craig Mazin as showrunner (Chernobyl), HBO called directly on Neil Druckmann, the co-creator of the saga, to take the reins of this transposition.

But beyond this direct connection with the game of Naughty Dog, the series wanted to preserve the human dimension of its basic material, even the large family which was created around this creation which is now cult. From then on, The Last of Us had fun during its nine episodes atproduce cameos or supporting roles, in tribute to the actors and actresses who have lent their features and their voices to characters in the games. Here's the list which, in addition to being fun, confirms some exciting thematic reflections of the series.

Warning: spoilers< /p>

Troy Baker

Troy Baker had the daunting task of bringing Joel to life Millerin Naughty Dog games. Since he's younger than his pixel alter-ego, HBO gave him another role on the show, namely that of James, David's right-hand man in the cannibal community in Episode 8.

What is interesting in this approach is that Troy Baker embodies the absolute opposite of Joel. James is a loose and indecisive man, who fades behind the one he sees as a mentor. Nevertheless, the actor plays him with the same sharp look and the same deep voice, as if seeing an alternate version of what the hero of the game could have become. The points of view and the destinies only hold by a thread in this post-apocalyptic universe, and The Last of Us never ceases to remind us, whatever the format.

Ashley Johnson

More meta still, Ashley Johnson, the interpreter of Ellie in both games, changes generation by moving to live-action. She plays Anna, Ellie's mother, who we see at the beginning of episode 9 while she is being chased by an Infected. Bitten just at the moment of childbirth, the character makes it possible both to explain Ellie's immunity, but also to capture a very beautiful passing of the torch between Johnson and Bella Ramsey.

In addition to having a very special symbolic value, this sequence is also a golden opportunity to develop the character of Marlene, and her attachment to Ellie and her mother, which is only sketched in the game.

Jeffrey Pierce

With his characteristic voice, Jeffrey Pierce gave life to Tommy, the brother of Joel in Naughty Dog games. In the series, he goes, like Troy Baker, to the other side of the fence with Perry, second in command to Kansas City rebel leader Kathleen.

Yet, as with James, one might wonder if Perry is so far removed from Tommy, apart from his place in the narrative that defines him as an antagonist. He is convinced to act for the good of his community, and is even ready to accept the ultimate sacrifice for Kathleen, when he is viciously beheaded by a Colossus in episode 5. It is also amusing that most of these supporting roles often end up disappearing in excruciating pain.

Laura Bailey

More discreet, the actress who played the very controversial Abby in The Last of Us – Part 2 offered herself a funny cameo in the last episode. Again, her place has strong metatextual value, since she plays one of the nurses present during Ellie's aborted surgery.

Now, we discover in The Last of Us – Part 2that Abby's quest for revenge is driven by the death of her father, who was none other than the surgeon Joel executed. However, this tragic context did not prevent Laura Bailey from having a good time on the set, as revealed by Neil Druckmann through a photo shared by the actress:

“And the winner for funniest text ever goes to Laura Bailey for sending me this nugget!”

And the winner for funniest text of all time goes to @LauraBaileyVO for sending me this gem!

— Neil Druckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) March 13, 2023

Merle Dandridge

Very fast in the process of adaptation, Neil Druckmann knew that the characters of the video games could not be embodied by the same actors in the series. However, there is one exception in Season 1 of The Last of Us, and that is Merle Dandridge. In both cases, the actress was able to put herself in the shoes of Marlene, the leader of the Fireflies who sends Joel on a mission to protect Ellie.

This assumption is justified by the talent of the actress, but also by the evolution that Marlene knows between the two mediums. A very nice way for Merle Dandridge to deepen her character, her torments and her dilemmas, especially when she becomes the final antagonist of the story.