The Last of Us Boss Teases Tory Baker, Ashley Johnson’s Roles on HBO Show

When a game is adapted for television or film, there are often hidden Easter eggs for fans of the original to discover, but in The last of us It was important for voice actors Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson to have the spotlight, said game creator Neil Druckmann news week.

Baker and Johnson took on the roles of lead characters Joel and Ellie in the original game and its 2020 sequel, and those characters are now brought to life by Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey. Baker and Johnson were also given various but important parts to make themselves.

The show is set in 2023, in a dystopian future where Joel is tasked with taking teenage Ellie on a dangerous mission across the United States that might just save the world from its current post-apocalyptic state, but they must kill the infected fend off humans who are now roaming the land killing everyone in their path.

Druckmann and showrunner Craig Mazin also spoke news week about bringing Baker and Johnson on for the show and teased the important role they play in Joel and Ellie’s journey in the adaptation.

The Last of Us boss teases Tory Baker and Ashley Johnson’s roles on the HBO show

The cast of The Last of Us
Featured in this composite image are Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal as Ellie and Joel in The Last of Us, as well as Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson singing Joel and Ellie in the games at the Los Angeles premiere of HBO’s The Last of Us ” posted January 9, 2023.
Rodin Eckenroth/Jeff Kravitz/HBO/WireImage/FilmMagic for HBO

For Druckmann, co-creator, writer and executive producer of the HBO show, finding a meaningful role for Baker and Johnson was important because it would have been a shame not to give them something more substantial than just a blink-and-you- misses it cameo.

“Troy and Ashley were such a part of making the story happen for the first time, they define in so many ways who Joel and Ellie are and they will forever be the first versions of Joel and Ellie and we really wanted to honor that.” and make them a part of the show,” Druckmann said.

“And not just a cameo, kind of a wink [to fans of the game]we wanted to give them meaningful, weighty roles because they are really fantastic actors who can play well on the show with the rest of our amazing cast.”

Johnson, in particular, seemed right for a role that held a special place in Druckmann’s heart: Ellie’s mother.

“There was a story I wrote after the game came out about Ellie’s mother that was meant to be done in this one way, and then it just fell apart so it just sat on one shelf,” said the co-president by video game developer Naughty Dog, creator of The last of us Game.

“Craig’s dig of what The last of us and I was just talking about everything that we had developed within Naughty Dog and world history and all these different factions and these relationships, I mentioned that history to him and his eyes widened and he was like, ‘Oh my God God ‘That has to go on the show.’

“And immediately we both had that thought apart and we contacted each other like, ‘It has to be Ashley Johnson.’ There is no other person that could play Ellie’s mother other than Ashley Johnson.”

While Johnson portrays Ellie’s mother, Baker takes on the role of James, an antagonist from the original game and a member of a cannibalistic group of survivors who encounter Joel and Ellie on their journey.

Bella Ramsey, Pedro Pascal, Nico Parker and Anna Torv as Ellie, Joel, Sarah and Tess in The Last of Us.

Mazin said that giving Baker and Johnson significant roles on the HBO show was the “best thing we could have done,” and he enjoyed having the couple on set because he’s such a fan of the games .

“From my perspective as someone who’s worked with Troy and Ashley for the first time, they’re amazing,” Mazin said. “They are so great and they are so great on the show.

“I think it’s wonderful, I mean, they’ve both done a lot of live-action work and Ashley’s a child actor that goes back a long way, but I think it’s great to see people who have made a big chunk of their careers as a voice actor , keep going in front of the cameras and people can see what they can do.

“They are both amazing and lovely people as someone who is a fan and the game means so much to me, it’s easier with Troy because he doesn’t speak in Joel’s voice but Ellie’s voice is Ashley’s voice! Every time I spoke to Ashley, there was a little bit of me [excited, going] ‘Oh my god, it really is Ellie,’ so it was great to meet her.”

Druckmann added: “They have been kind enough to support the show, I suppose it must be hard because these characters mean so much to them.

“Like I had to go through a process to say I’m going to trust Craig with this thing that means so much to me, to say, ‘I trust you run with it,’ so they can pass the baton on at least.” in this medium, Pedro and Bella have been truly gracious of them and we are infinitely grateful to them.”

The last of us Premieres Sunday, January 15 at 9pm ET on HBO, and it will be available to stream on HBO Max. The Last of Us Boss Teases Tory Baker, Ashley Johnson’s Roles on HBO Show

Rick Schindler

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