Ashley Johnson – who played Ellie in The Last of Us Parts 1 and 2 and portrayed Ellie's mom Anna in The Last of Us TV show season finale – thinks her HBO counterpart Bella Ramsey has "elevated" the role she made famous.
"Because of the depth and talent that Bella has. I feel like she's elevated it. I feel like she's brought so much more to Ellie than we were able to do in the game," Johnson told GamesRadar+ and other assembled media at a recent roundtable of Ramsey taking on the part.
"I feel like there have been so many moments and scenes where Ellie has been able to say things that I feel like I never got to, where she's been able to stand up for herself and stand up to Joel or stand up to anybody around her," Johnson said. "And it's cathartic. It makes me so happy to sort of see this character grow even more and have more of a say in her own life in a way."
Johnson also speaks of a "connection" to Ramsey thanks to their shared love of the character, while also praising the actor’s performance.
"I don't feel like anybody else could have done this part. I finally watched the last episode and she's so fucking good. She absolutely blows me away. It's gonna sound so weird – I feel so proud of her. I feel a connection to her, I think because we both love this character. And I think there's so much of her that already is Ellie… I feel a massive connection to Bella and I am so blown away by what she's done. What an incredible actor."
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.