The Last of Us: Cast & Characters
Find out which characters will be making an appearance in the 9-part adaptation of the hit video game. With a stellar cast that includes Pedro Pascal, Bella Ramsey, Gabriel Luna and Anna Torv, The Last of Us lands on Sky Atlantic and Now in January 2023.
Who's who in The Last Of Us
Joel (played by Pedro Pascal)
A grizzled survivor of the deadly pandemic, we first meet Joel in happier times. Twenty-years on, Joel ekes out a living as a smuggler in Boston. When a deal goes bad, Joel finds himself hired by the Fireflies to transport the 14-year-old Ellie to a hospital outside of the QZ. Still unable to heal from the wounds of the past, Joel slowly comes to appreciate Ellie’s ability to see the wonder in the world.
Many will recognise Pascal from Game of Thrones when he played the spear-wielding Prince Oberyn. More recently, Pascal made headlines in Disney’s hit Star Wars spin-off The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett.
Ellie (played by Bella Ramsey)
Ellie is born into a post-apocalyptic world after the outbreak of the deadly Cordyceps brain infection (CBI). When Marlene realises that Ellie is immune to the disease, she reluctantly hands her over to Joel Miller and Tess, who must transport her outside of the QZ. On their perilous journey, Ellie faces hardships, but finds strength in the unlikely bond she makes with the world-weary Joel Miller.
Another veteran of Game of Thrones, Bella Ramsay won many fans as Lady Lyanna Mormont in the HBO adaption of George R.R. Martin’s books, including her memorable speech declaring Jon Snow the “King in the North!”.
Tommy (played by Gabriel Luna)
Unlike his older brother Joel, Tommy was always looking for a cause to fight for. Before the outbreak of CBI, he served in the Gulf War during Desert Storm. After the outbreak of CBI, Joel and Tommy parted ways. Refusing to accept the rule of the military dictatorship, he joins the Fireflies. Joel knows his brother is out there. Will he ever find him again?
Playing Joel’s brother is Gabriel Luna, star of Disney’s hit Marvel show, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. where he plays the hellish avenger Ghost Rider. He made a name for himself in the crime series Matador, but audiences will also recognise Luna for his chilling performance as the Rev-9 cyborg in Terminator: Dark Fate.
Sarah (played by Nico Parker)
Joel's 14-year-old daughter.
Nico Parker is an English actress. She made her film debut as Milly Farrier in Disney's Dumbo (2019), directed by Tim Burton.
Marlene (played by Merle Dandridge)
Marlene is leader of the Fireflies, a resistance group that uses extreme tactics against the oppressive military regime. Marlene keeps Ellie prisoner after the teenager is infected with CBI, testing her to see if she will turn. When she doesn’t, Marlene puts all her efforts into making sure Ellie is kept safe and secure until she can be transported to Salt Lake City.
Fans of The Last of Us may know that Merle Dandridge voiced the character of Marlene for the original game. For TV she has also appeared in well-known titles including, 24 and Sons of Anarchy. Dandridge made her name on Broadway for roles in Jesus Christ Superstar, the Monty Python musical Spamalot, and Rent, among others.
Tess (played by Anna Torv)
Like Joel and Tommy, Tess was born before the outbreak of CBI. More cynical even than Joel (and smarter), she makes her living as a smuggler in area 4 of the QZ. With a reputation for ruthlessness, she and Joel live a hard but good life compared to many in the QZ. She’s out for revenge, which is how she and Joel come to meet Ellie.
Star of one of the most binge-able shows of all time, Fringe, audiences came to know the Australian-born actress as FBI agent, Olivia Dunham. Not content with one iconic role, she also starred in Netflix’s Mindhunter. She has also starred in the politically charged drama Secret City, and the modern-day adaptation of Ibsen’s Wild Duck reworked for the big screen as The Daughter.
Bill (played by Nick Offerman)
The survivalist. Nick Offerman is Bill.
Nick Offerman is an American actor and producer. He is best known for playing Ron Swanson in the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation (2009), as well as his role in The Founder (2016).
Henry (played by Lamar Johnson)
Henry is Sam’s older brother, and they live in Kansas City. The city was once ruled over by FEDRA (Federal Disaster Response Agency), a government agency who, after the outbreak, would test and torture the local population. Joel and Ellie encounter the brothers, whose situation is not unlike their own, and form an alliance.
Johnson is best-known for his performance in the powerful drama, The Hate U Give in 2018. He also starred in the X-Men film, Dark Phoenix, and more recently appeared in the Bryan Cranston-led legal drama, Your Honor, as Kofi Jones.
Sam (played by Keivonn Woodard)
Henry's younger brother. When Henry and Sam’s father died, they were left alone in the world to survive. Henry had few choices and made difficult decisions to keep his brother clothed, fed, and safe, but at a great cost, and now he finds himself on the run. Unlike the game, in the show, Sam is deaf; a creative choice by the shows producers, who were impressed by Woodard’s audition.
Woodard’s appearance in The Last of Us will mark the first time a Black deaf actor has appeared in a major television drama. The show will also be Woodard’s first major role, although he did star in the 2018 drama, Seeds of Hope: The Andrew Jackson Foster Story, and the short film, Fractal.