‘The Last of Us’ star Bella Ramsey shuts down backlash to LGBTQ storylines

A young brunette girl wearing a jacket and sitting in front of a tree trunk in a forest
Bella Ramsey as Ellie in “The Last of Us.”
(Liane Hentscher / HBO)

Bella Ramsey is “not particularly anxious about” anti-LGBTQ backlash to her hit HBO series, “The Last of Us.”

In an interview with GQ U.K. magazine published Monday, the 19-year-old actor seemed unshaken by any existing or potential hate from those who disapprove of the LGBTQ storylines in the show, as well as in the popular video game of the same name.

For reference: The third episode of “The Last of Us” featured a love story between two male characters, Bill and Frank, and was met with a mix of praise and homophobia online. (According to GQ, the episode was “review bombed” by IMDb and Metacritic users despite drawing widespread acclaim from fans and critics.)


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Additionally, “The Last of Us Part II” video game sees Ramsey’s character, Ellie, develop a romantic relationship with another female character, Dina, and introduces a transgender character named Lev. After recently sitting in on a writing session for Season 2 of “The Last of Us,” Ramsey told GQ she thinks the next season “will most likely follow the storyline of the games again” and that there won’t be “much need to fill in the gaps” — indicating that more LGBTQ characters and storylines will be woven in the series as it progresses.

“I’m not particularly anxious about it,” she told GQ about potential outrage over the survival drama’s increasing LGBTQ elements.

“People will think what they want to think. But they’re gonna have to get used to it. If you don’t want to watch the show because it has gay storylines, because it has a trans character, that’s on you, and you’re missing out.”

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“It isn’t gonna make me afraid,” Ramsey added. “I think that comes from a place of defiance.”

According to GQ, Ramsey is looking forward to potentially exploring Ellie and Dina’s relationship in Season 2, which was recently greenlighted by HBO.

“There are a few bits with Ellie on her own, probably, but I like the fact that she also has [Dina] now,” she said.


In a January interview with the New York Times, Ramsey discussed her own relationship to the LGBTQ community and revealed that her “gender has always been very fluid.” She added that she doesn’t “particularly like” being gendered but “really couldn’t care less” when it comes to pronouns.

(Ramsey opted to use she/her pronouns for the GQ interview)

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Later, Ramsey told GQ that her “Last of Us” co-star Pedro Pascal has been “super supportive” of her gender identity, adding that she and Pascal frequently discussed gender and sexuality in conversations that “weren’t always deep” while working together on set.

“They could be funny and humorous, the whole spectrum,” Ramsey said. “We were just very honest and open with each other.”

What bothers Ramsey “more than pronouns” is “being called a ‘young woman’ or a ‘powerful young woman,’ ‘young lady,’” she explained to GQ.

“I’m just not [that],” she continued. “[In the film] ‘Catherine Called Birdy,’ I was in dresses. ‘Young Elizabeth,’ I was in a corset. And I felt super powerful in that. Playing these more feminine characters is a chance to be something so opposite to myself, and it’s really fun.”