Meet The Last of Us cast: who's who in the post-apocalyptic drama (2023)

Meet The Last of Us cast: who's who in the post-apocalyptic drama (1)

Now that The Last of Us has finally been released, you've probably already started watching the HBO Max adaptation of the popular video game — if not, what's stopping you!? (here's our guide on how to watch The Last of Us).

Like the game it's based on, The Last of Us takes place in an alternate present-day version of the United States, which has been transformed in the wake of a deadly infection that causes people to mutate into fungus-based monsters (and no, they're not fungis to hang around with).

The story follows two survivors, Joel and Ellie, who embark on a dangerous quest across the continental US, meeting characters and surviving the infected on the way.

Soon, the duo is forced to settle their differences and learn to depend on one another as they fend for their lives once their journey becomes a fraught trek across the post-apocalyptic environment, and face dangers from fellow survivors and the infected creatures that roam the lands.

Recognize some of the actors you're seeing on screen? Here's what you need to know about the stars that feature in The Last of Us cast.

Pedro Pascal as Joel

Meet The Last of Us cast: who's who in the post-apocalyptic drama (2)

Pedro Pascal is one half of the lead duo and play’s the game’s protagonist, Joel. Having suffered tragedy during the initial outbreak, Joel becomes a smuggler, teaming up with Tess. Another important relation is Tommy, his brother, who helps him survive the early years of the infection, though by the time of the show they've been separated.

Joel's latest smuggling assignment is his most dangerous yet. He’s got to travel across post-apocalyptic America and deliver Ellie — a young girl representing the last hope of humanity — to a resistance group.

In the video game The Last of Us, Joel is played by Troy Baker, who has a small role in the show as James.

Where else have you seen Pedro Pascal? Pascal has become a huge name in recent years. His recent credits include starring in the title role in The Mandalorian (and The Book of Boba Fett), The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, Narcos, and Oberyn Martell in Game of Thrones.

Bella Ramsey as Ellie

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(Video) The Last of Us Cast Then & Now

Bella Ramsey stars opposite Pedro Pascal as Ellie, an orphaned teen who sets off on a perilous cross-country with Joel who is all the while grappling with the knowledge that she might be the key to saving the rest of the world from the infection.

Ellie is a playful character, with lots of naivety and optimism in the world, but she still understands that she's got to do extreme things in order to survive. Ellie has no parents or relatives, though she has friends who she made along her journeys.

Where else have you seen Bella Ramsey? Ramsey is likely best known for playing the fearsome Lyanna Mormont in Game of Thrones. Recently, Ramsey has appeared in Catherine Called Birdy, Becoming Elizabeth, The Worst Witch and His Dark Materials, and she’s known for voicing the title character in Hilda and Hilda and the Mountain King.

Gabriel Luna as Tommy

Gabriel Luna is on hand as Joel's younger brother, Tommy. Tommy used to be a soldier, and he's always managed to keep hold of his hope for a better tomorrow.

By the time the show takes place, Tommy has been separated from Joel, due to his joining the rebel faction The Fireflies, which Joel doesn't support. However they remain in contact until Tommy disappears, which motivates Joel to leave the Quarantine Zone he's sequestered in.

In the video game, Tommy is voiced by Jeffrey Pierce, who has a role in the TV show as Perry.

Where else have you seen Gabriel Luna? Luna has appeared in Matador, True Detective, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Terminator: Dark Fate, Hala and Eddie & Sunny.

Merle Dandridge as Marlene

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Merle Dandridge voiced Marlene in the original video games, and she’s returning to play the character in the TV series. Marlene is the leader of the Boston arm of the Fireflies, a resistance movement who have sprung up in opposition to the military.

We see Merle as an optimist, as she plans for a better tomorrow while still contending with the realities of her situation. The Fireflies wages a guerilla war against FEDRA, the new form of the US Military, though Merle understands it's a fight her side is losing.

Where else have you seen Merle Dandridge? Dandridge is likely recognized for her recent appearances in Station 19, Truth Be Told, The Flight Attendant, Murphy Brown and The Night Shift. She’s also known for voicing Alyx Vance in multiple Half-Life video games, too.

Anna Torv as Tess

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Anna Torv is playing Tess. Together with Joel, the pair worked as smugglers eking out a living in the post-pandemic world.

Tess acts as Joel's moral counterpoint, encouraging him to take Ellie under his wing. Having been by Joel's side for years, she likely knows more about his back story than most.

(Video) ‘The Last of Us’ Stars Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey on Their Post-Apocalyptic Chemistry

Where else have you seen Anna Torv? Anna Torv is likely best known for playing Olivia Dunham in Fringe, though she's also had roles in The Newsreader, Mindhunter, Stephanie, Secret City and The Secret Life of Us.

Nico Parker as Sarah

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Nico Parker is one of the many guest stars among The Last of Us cast. She's playing Sarah, Joel’s 14-year-old daughter.

No mention is made of Sarah's mother, but Sarah is an independent child who knows how to look after herself, and she treats Joel as much like a friend as a father.

Where else have you seen Nico Parker? Parker has previously appeared in the 2019 live-action remake of Dumbo, Reminiscence and The Third Day (where, coincidentally, she played a character called Ellie).

Nick Offerman as Bill

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Nick Offerman is playing Bill, a grizzled survivalist who is hiding out in an isolated town with Frank.

A character who's the star of one of the levels of The Last of Us game, Bill maintains a professional relationship with Joel and Tess, helping them smuggle in and out of Boston.

Where else have you seen Nick Offerman? Nick Offerman is likely best known for his turn as Ron Swanson in Parks and Recreation, though he's had roles in everything from The Resort, A League of Their Own, Good Omens, The Founder, Fargo and many more.

Murray Bartlett as Frank

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Murray Bartlett is playing Frank, a survivor hiding out with Bill.

Frank is mentioned in the game The Last of Us, but his character has been expanded greatly for the show, with the hidden subtext in Bill's level of the game made explicit in Frank's relationship with Bill.

Where else have you seen Murray Bartlett? Murray Bartlett has appeared in Welcome to Chippendales, Iron Fist, The White Lotus, The Guiding Light, Neighbours and Home and Away.

Storm Reid as Riley

Meet The Last of Us cast: who's who in the post-apocalyptic drama (10)

Euphoria star Storm Reid is on hand to play Riley, an orphaned girl who grew up in post-apocalyptic Boston.

(Video) Pedro Pascal & Bella Ramsey Get To Know Me | The Last of Us | HBO Max

Riley plays an important role in Ellie's backstory, something we find out as soon as we meet Ellie. In the video game, Riley isn't present for the main game, but was introduced in a downloadable expansion pack for it.

Where else have you seen Storm Reid? Storm Reid is likely best known as Rue's sister, Gia in Euphoria, though she's also had roles in When They See Us, A Wrinkle in Time, 12 Years a Slave and The Invisible Man.

Lamar Johnson as Henry

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Lamar Johnson is playing Henry. He's hiding from a revolutionary movement in Kansas City with his brother Sam (see below), and they end up crossing paths with Joel and Ellie.

Henry is a counterpoint to Joel, as while they're both trying to look after young charges, Joel's world experience has made him hardened and less empathetic.

Where else have you seen Lamar Johnson? Lamar Johnson has appeared in The Next Step, The Hate U Give, Kings, Native Son, and Your Honor.

Keivonn Woodard as Sam

Meet The Last of Us cast: who's who in the post-apocalyptic drama (12)

Keivonn Woodard is playing Sam, Henry's younger brother.

Sam is deaf, something which functions as a major disadvantage in the post-apocalypse scenario of the show, but he's also a spark of life that keeps Henry going.

Where else have you seen Keivonn Woodard? The Last Of Us is likely going to be Keivonn's biggest role to date, though he did appear in Seeds Of Hope: The Andrew Jackson Foster Story.

Who else is part of The Last Of Us cast?

As if the above lineup wasn't packed full of amazing actors already, there's also a number of guest stars set to appear in The Last Of Us, including:

  • Graham Green as Marlon
  • Elaine Miles as Florence
  • Jeffrey Pierce as Perry
  • Ashley Johnson (Ellie's original voice actor) as Anna Williams
  • Troy Baker (Joel's original voice actor) as James
  • Melanie Lynskey as Kathleen
  • John Hannah in an unnamed role

The Last of Us premieres on HBO and HBO Max on Sunday, January 15, 2023, with the UK premiere coming one day later on Monday, January 16 on Sky Atlantic and NOW.

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Meet The Last of Us cast: who's who in the post-apocalyptic drama (13)

Martin Shore

Staff Writer at

Martin is a Staff Writer with, where he produces a variety of articles focused on the latest and greatest films and TV shows.

Some of his favorite shows are What We Do In The Shadows, Bridgerton, Gangs of London, The Witcher, Doctor Who, and Ghosts. When he’s not watching TV or at the movies, Martin’s probably still in front of a screen playing the latest video games, reading, or watching the NFL.

(Video) IGN Interviews the Cast of HBO's The Last of Us


Who is playing David in The Last of Us TV show? ›

First off: a fun easter egg. David's pal, James, is played in the HBO series by Troy Baker—who voices Joels in the video games. With co-creator Neil Druckmann at the helm of the series as well, it's just nice to see that so many people who were involved in the game worked on the HBO series.

Who is the girl in the beginning of The Last of Us show? ›

Storm Reid as Riley Abel, an orphaned girl who is Ellie's best friend at military school in post-apocalyptic Boston. Reid was unfamiliar with the game prior to her casting; when approached to star in the show, she asked family and friends for their opinions on the game.

Who is the guy in The Last of Us? ›

Joel Miller (Troy Baker) is the protagonist of The Last of Us. From Texas, Joel was a single father in his late 20s when the initial Cordyceps outbreak occurred.

Who is playing Tommy in The Last of Us TV show? ›

Tommy played by Gabriel Luna | Official Website for the HBO Series.

Who is Abby modeled after last of us? ›

Abby's face is based on Jocelyn Mettler, a visual effects artist who formerly worked at Naughty Dog, while her body was based on athlete Colleen Fotsch.

Who is the face of Ellie in The Last of Us? ›

Ellie is a character in the video game series The Last of Us by Naughty Dog. She is portrayed by Ashley Johnson through motion capture and voice acting; in the television adaptation, she is portrayed by Bella Ramsey.

Why is Ellie immune? ›

It hints that the reason Ellie is immune to the cordyceps infection is because her mother was infected while still pregnant. In the final months of pregnacy, the umbilical chord transfers the mother's antibodies to the fetus, meaning they're born with some level of immunity.

Who is the guy at the beginning of The Last of Us? ›

In the TV show's opening scene, set in 1968, epidemiologist Dr. Neuman (played by John Hannah) speaks on an interview show about the prospect of a viral pandemic. Surprising the show's host (Josh Brener), Neuman says the threat doesn't keep him up at night.

How old was Joel when he had Sarah? ›

The majority of the gameplay is 20 years after the openning scene. Which means he was 28/29 with Sarah. Sarah was 12 in this scene, so that means joel was a father at 16/17.

Who plays James in The Last of Us Episode 8? ›

Actor Troy Baker, who voices Joel in the PlayStation series, stars in the episode as James, a side-character from the first game.

Who does Troy Baker play in The Last of Us? ›

But no role has garnered quite the same attention as Joel Miller, the protagonist of The Last of Us, for whom Baker provided voice and motion capture. Certainly no other project has been made into a hit TV series on HBO.

What happened to David in The Last of Us? ›

However, David met his demise when he was violently hacked to death with his own machete by Ellie. Considering his violent death, his actions left a mark on Ellie, making her distant and quiet towards Joel yet more determined to reach the Fireflies.

Who modeled Joel in The Last of Us? ›

Joel Miller is a fictional character in the video game series The Last of Us by Naughty Dog. In the games, he is portrayed by Troy Baker through motion capture and voice acting; in the television adaptation, he is portrayed by Pedro Pascal.


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2. The Last of Us cast sit down with game and show creators | Creator to Creator [Part 1]
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