The Last of Us HBO

HBO's adaptation of The Last of Us has us hungry for details as the silver screen-reworking of Naughty Dog's magnum opus draws ever closer, and we aren't the only ones. In a new interview with USA Today, actress Bella Ramsey, who portrays Ellie, has revealed that she was "encouraged not" to play the game on which the show is based.

Ramsey recounts the experience, stating that "after my first audition, they asked me, 'have you played it?' And I said 'nope', and they said, 'keep it that way'". The actress wasn't able to stay away entirely, though, as she "did watch some of the gameplay on YouTube just to get a sense of it". Ramsey is looking forward to the launch of the series, saying: "It was such a big part of my life. I shot for a whole year, which is quite a long time when you’ve only lived for 19 years."

Her co-star Pedro Pascal, who plays Joel, has also kept some distance between his portrayal and the source material. In an interview with GQ, the actor recalls that the game itself was a bit beyond him, but that he did watch his nephew play some of it, saying: "It’s so sad, I haven’t any skill. I tried, you know. And then it was only a matter of minutes before I had to hand it over to my nephew. It really takes a specific kind of skill, and I don’t have it."

It sounds like the showrunners are going for a fresh portrayal of the characters, which doesn't sound like a bad thing to us. We already have Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson's immortal performances in the games themselves, after all.

Are you as excited as we are for HBO's The Last of Us? Don't let it all be for nothing in the comments section below.

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