The Last of Us Actor Merle Dandridge Joins the TV Show Cast

A new report reveals that Merle Dandridge has been added to the cast of The Last of Us show adaptation being made by HBO. Hollywood Reporter reveals Dandridge’s casting and her role, and surprise: She’s playing the same character in the show that she played in the game, both in voice and motion capture.

Dandridge played (and will play) Marlene, the leader of the Fireflies resistance group and the one who kicks off the plot of the first game (and everything that happens thereafter) by enlisting Joel and his partner Tess to smuggle the cordyceps spore-immune Ellie to her under the nose of the military. To say any more would be to spoil her role in the game’s outcome and the sequel, so for the two or three people reading this who might not have played The Last of Us, that’s all I’ll say on the topic.

Dandridge joins a cast that includes Pedro Pascal as Joel (because he’s already playing the most popular adoptive dad on TV, so might as well have him be this one as well), Bella Ramsay as Ellie, and Gabriel Luna as Tommy. She’s also the only actor so far who’ll be reprising her role from the games, but it’s early days yet and there are still many characters whose casting remains a mystery.

Given that The Last of Us’s in-game performances were made with performance capture, the actors lent more to their roles than just their voices. So it makes sense that they’d be the first ones you’d call to play those same roles in a show or movie. It’s good to see her in-game performance being recognized by the showrunners, especially since it’s not her first recognizable game role. For those who weren’t aware, she was the original voice of Alyx Vance in the Half-Life series.

Source: Hollywood Reporter