Ashley Johnson is best known for playing Ellie in the video game version of The Last of Us (and its sequel), but she also got a chance to make an appearance in the season finale of the HBO show as Ellie’s mom, Anna. Johnson talked more about the opportunity and what it meant to be in this world once again but from a different viewpoint.
She said Anna was an extension of Ellie and stated that it was “special for [her] to play the mother of this character that [she cares] so deeply about.” Johnson then recalled how even Ellie’s first few seconds were a fight, as Anna gave birth while being attacked by an infected being, which shows how strong Ellie has had to be since day one.
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Filming the actual scene, according to Johnson, was intense, too, as she said she was acting, but was also actually scared due to stuntwoman Kelsey Andries’ intense performance as the infected person. Despite her fears, she said she could not believe she was getting the chance to be in the show in that capacity and said she would “never forget it.”
Johnson had talked about taking the role in other avenues, as well. She even noted on the official The Last of Us podcast that she cried when Neil Druckmann called her about it. Expanding upon that with Deadline after the finale aired, she said that she was nervous but happy and be the first person in Ellie’s life that fights for her to live. Johnson also told The Hollywood Reporter that she had theories of why Ellie was immune, but decided to focus more on the relationships in the show.