Ashley Johnson admits it "was a surprise to all of us" to be involved in the Last of Us TV show

Ashley Johnson as Anna in The Last of Us
(Image credit: HBO)

The Last of Us’ Ellie game actor Ashley Johnson has admitted it was a "surprise" to be asked to appear in the HBO series.

Johnson, who plays Ellie’s mom Anna in the TV show, revealed her reaction in a roundtable with GamesRadar+ and other press.

"I think it was a surprise to all of us that were in the game that we were asked to be a part of this," Johnson said. "Because I'm sure you all know that, most of the time with a video game adaptation to screen, generally the video game voice actors or motion capture artists, they don't also go into the fold."

Those words echo the reaction of Johnson’s co-star Troy Baker (who played Joel in the games and James in the HBO series).

In our recent separate interview with Baker, he said, “It was a surprise. I really wasn't anticipating it. I didn't expect it. It wasn't something where I was like, ‘You better find a role for me’. If there was one, then great. If not, I'm happy to observe and cheer and my voice will be above the den of all those that I know will be supporting this show.

"And so [Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann] came to me and was like, ‘Hey man, I got a role for you.’ I'm like, ‘Oh dude, thank you.’ And I thought it was looking to be like a clicker or something. And he goes, ‘I want you to play James.’ And I went, ‘Oh my God, thank you, man... Who's James again?’ [laughs]"

The Last of Us TV show finale has now aired on both HBO Max in the US and Sky Atlantic/NOW in the UK. For more from the series, check out our guide to the major Last of Us episode 9 changes from the games and a terrifying look at the Cordyceps fungus.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.

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