The Last Of Us TV Show Cast: Who Are They Playing?

HBO’s live-action adaptation of The Last Of Us is one of the most ambitious projects undertaken by the television network, attempting to bring to life one of the most beloved duos in all of gaming, Joel and Ellie.

Naughty Dog, the developer responsible for creating the video game, did a fantastic job of realising the likely reality that would arise were an apocalyptic event involving a mind-altering fungal outbreak to occur. Each character faces horrors on the daily, be they the infected hosts roaming the broken landscape or other survivors who have given in to their violent impulses.

It’s fair to say that fans of the game series have high expectations for any project set in this fictional world, and The Last Of Us TV show cast must be of a calibre high enough to do their roles justice.

That said, in this blog, we’ll introduce you to the actors who have taken on the challenge and give you some background about their characters.

Who Plays Joel?

Warner Bros. Television Studios

Joel Miller is played by Pedro Pascal, who many entertainment fans will recognise from another popular HBO TV series, Game Of Thrones. Even without watching a single episode of the show, it’s clear that Pascal is suited to the character, having had experience with a parental role in The Mandalorian.

For those unfamiliar with the character, Joel is the playable protagonist of The Last Of Us. Devastated by a loss that occurs early in the outbreak, he falls into a pattern of violence, which allows him to survive for decades. It’s only after he agrees to smuggle a young girl, Ellie, that his priorities change.

Who Plays Ellie?

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Ellie is played by Bella Ramsey, a fellow member of the Game Of Thrones family. Though her acting credits aren’t as vast as her co-star’s, anyone who has seen her portrayal of Lyanna Mormont knows that she has powerful screen presence.

It’s a good thing, too. Ellie is a strong-spirited 14-year-old with a penchant for vulgar language and violence. Having grown up in the apocalypse, she’s no stranger to peril, and this is made apparent when it is revealed that she is the only person not to be affected by a bite from one of the infected, which normally transforms the receiver into one of the horde.

Her rare condition might just be what saves the world.

Who Plays Tommy?

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Tommy is played by Gabriel Luna, perhaps best known as Robbie Reyes / Ghost Rider from Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. His previous work as a lead character — and the fact that he almost received his own spin-off show — makes him a safe choice for the role.

In the game, Tommy is the estranged brother of Joel, who parted ways with his older sibling after a clashing of values. Nevertheless, the character plays an important part in Joel and Ellie’s story, unable to permanently distance himself from blood.

Who Plays Tess?

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Tess is played by Anna Torv, whose most popular role is FBI agent Olivia Dunham on the series Fringe. For her work on this show, the actor has received multiple award nominations and wins, demonstrating her ability to give a convincing performance.

As part of The Last Of Us TV show cast, Torv is stepping into the shoes of one of Joel’s closest allies, a smuggler operating out of Boston. Tess and Joel’s partnership has earned them a fierce reputation in the quarantine zone, and there are few who would dare to cross them … or live to talk about doing so.

Who Plays Bill?

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Bill is played by Nick Offerman, a face that people will recognise as Ron Swanson from Parks And Recreation. Though many viewers will associate the actor with comedic roles, his acting ability is such that he’s more than capable of being dramatic when the situation calls for it.

When we meet Bill, he is an existing associate of Joel and someone who owes a lot of favours. Viewers can expect to see the two cross paths, but the show also dives into Bill’s past, which is something that the game only alludes to.

Who Plays Frank?

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Frank is played by Murray Bartlett (Looking and The White Lotus). This is a character that even fans of the game don’t know a great deal about, as his part in the story is limited to information told by Bill, his partner, and notes found by the player. Neil Druckmann, the creator of The Last Of Us, has sought to expand upon the narrative elements of the game, taking slight deviations where appropriate.

Who Plays Marlene?

Warner Bros. Television Studios

Marlene is played by Merle Dandridge. What’s exciting about this is that she also voiced the character in the game, so this is a full live-action reprisal. Naturally, no justification is needed as to her credentials to join The Last Of Us TV show cast.

Headstrong and idealistic, Marlene is the leader of the Fireflies, a militia group that seeks to dismantle the military presence across the various quarantine zones. It is she who places Ellie in Joel’s path, requesting that he perform a smuggling task on her behalf.

Who Plays Sarah?

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Sarah is played by Nico Parker, a younger actor who made her debut in Dumbo (2019). As revealed in promotional material for the show, this character plays a large part in Joel’s early character development, being his daughter.

The beginning of the game allows players to briefly control Sarah as the apocalypse gets underway, and fans should expect the TV series to highlight these terrifying events in a similar manner.

Who Plays Henry?

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Henry is played by Lamar Johnson. The actor is no stranger to dramatic roles, having featured in The Next Step and The Hate U Give, so this character — as fans of the game are no doubt aware — is a good fit.

Like most people in this unforgiving world, Henry is focused on survival above all else, not only for himself but also for his younger brother, Sam. There is a parallelism that can be drawn between these two and their series-leading counterparts, Joel and Ellie.

Who Plays Sam?

Warner Bros. Television Studios

Sam is played by Keivonn Woodard, and this marks the young actor’s biggest project to date.

In contrast to Ellie, Sam is not a hardened individual, having been protected by his older brother for his entire life. His vulnerability is further emphasised in the adaptation, with the creatives deciding to hire a deaf actor to join The Last Of Us TV show cast.

Who Plays Riley?

Warner Bros. Television Studios

Riley is played by Storm Reid, a name that will be familiar to a lot of film and TV fans. Since she began her acting career with 12 Years A Slave, Reid has had a number of roles, both minor and major.

The character of Riley isn’t physically present within the standalone version of the original game, but she does have a pivotal impact on its downloadable expansion, Left Behind. This piece of content explores what happened to Ellie prior to meeting Joel, emphasising her bond with Riley.

Will Troy Baker And Ashley Johnson Feature In The Show?

Warner Bros. Television Studios

One of the things that makes The Last Of Us so special is the performances given by Baker and Johnson, who voiced Joel and Ellie respectively. This has led many fans to ask whether the pair will play any part in the TV adaptation, even though their original roles have been claimed by Pascal and Ramsey.

We’re glad to say that the answer is yes. Baker assumes the role of James, a minor antagonist from the game. Johnson, on the other hand, is Ellie’s mother, Anna. It’s fitting that Johnson has received this opportunity, as she is the one who gave life to the original version of Ellie.

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Michael Adamson

Michael Adamson


Michael is a life-long fan of all things related to DC Comics, Marvel, and Star Wars. When he's not reading, you can find him playing football or running.