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Bella Ramsey Has Seen Your Hateful Comments and Has Some Choice Words for You

Bella Ramsey on a red carpet

The casting of The Last of Us for HBO wasn’t an easy thing. Unlike many other big shows for the premium network, The Last of Us also came with a dedicated fanbase that rivals that of HBO’s other huge franchise: Game of Thrones. But where the two differ is that I don’t remember there being a ton of pushback over the casting of the original GoT series, but with The Last of Us, fans have been dream-casting who should play Joel and Ellie for years.

So when the inevitable casting for these two iconic roles was announced, instead of being excited that the series was finally coming to life, many logged onto message boards to complain because it wasn’t who they thought it should be. There were Pedro Pascal-haters thinking Joel should be played by someone else, and “fans” who were furious that Bella Ramsey was cast as Ellie. Why? Because they wanted Kaitlyn Dever and made sure to make that fan-cast everyone else’s problem.

Through it all, Ramsey saw their comments. In a cover story for The Hollywood Reporter, both Pascal and Ramsey talked a lot about taking on these beloved game characters and addressed the “fan” opinions about their casting. For Ramsey, all the negativity that came from years of “fan-casting” led the young actor to try not looking at the comments. But eventually, Ramsey did. (Ramsey uses she/her and they/them pronouns. We will be using both while talking about Ramsey and using she/her when speaking about her character Ellie Williams in The Last of Us.)

“I’ve seen everything,” Ramsey said, with what James Hibberd described as “a note of steely and fuck you all defiance familiar to anyone who watched Lyanna Mormont dress down Jon Snow.” Ramsey went on to talk about how it was their first encounter with fans responding this way to casting, saying, “I’m aware of all of it. It was my first experience, really, with a lot of negative reactions.”

But Ramsey didn’t let the negativity stop them. “Ellie felt like a character I already had in me,” Ramsey said. “Like the skins that you wear in a video game? She was one of my skins already.”

Hating a casting decision before you see the performance is a choice

Not only is hating on a young actor for being cast as a character truly and honestly weird, but with The Last of Us, many fans also said that Ramsey didn’t “look the part”. First of all, it is a video game character. Casting someone just because they look exactly like the character instead of casting the best actor for the job isn’t going to make a show good. It’s just going to make people who have some warped casting ideas in their head happy while the show itself suffers.

Ramsey has not once put out a bad performance. Everything they’re in is fun, and Ramsey’s performance is often the heart of whatever character is being brought to life. Catherine Called Birdy worked because of Ramsey. Lyanna Mormont worked because of Ramsey. And I have a feeling that Ellie is going to be the same. Being angry you didn’t get your way doesn’t change the fact that the creators of The Last of Us saw Ellie in Ramsey, and based on that, I cannot wait to see what they deliver.

(featured image: Mike Marsland, WireImage)

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Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast.