Warning -- spoilers ahead! Proceed at your own risk if you haven't watched HBO's Last of Us.
Did you know The Last of Us had several original voice actors return for the on-screen series? Creator Craig Mazin thought it was important to find space for them in the show because it's a dramatic genetic connection between the game and the show. Mazin also pointed out that Joel and Ellie's voice actors, Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson, respectively, bear no physical resemblance to their on-screen counterparts. With Johnson being in her 30s and Baker being "so physically different from Joel," it is clear why they needed to be replaced.
When it comes to Johnson’s voice acting work, she’s best known for playing Ellie in The Last of Us games. She’s won two BAFTA Games Awards for the first game and Left Behind, making her the first person to win this honor more than once. Troy Baker has been at the center of the Last of Us universe for a decade. The esteemed voice actor originated the role of survivalist Joel Miller in the 2013 game and its sequel in 2020. In HBO's The Last of Us, Baker played James, one of David’s cannibal lackeys, while the Johnson played Anna, Ellie’s mother.
There was another voice actor cameo that may have been tough to spot: Laura Bailey, who plays Abby in The Last of Us Part II, showed up in the season one finale as one of the nurses in the operating room. Her character was thankfully spared by Joel as he went on his murdering rampage, but another thing to note is that she also played the nurse in the original game as well.
Merle Dandridge voiced and performed Firefly leader Marlene in The Last of Us and The Last of Us Part II video games. Unlike Baker, Johnson, and Bailey, Dandridge was cast as her character in the HBO adaptation -- the only actor from the games to reprise their role. Although the original characters were not based on the actor's appearances, Dandridge bore a similar appearance to Marlene.
Are there any we missed? Let us know!
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