‘The Final of Us’ Finale: Ashley Johnson on Taking part in Anna in Season 1

This put up comprises spoilers from Sunday’s The Final of Us finale. Proceed accordingly.

Now we see the place The Last of Us‘ Ellie will get it from.

Sunday’s season finale of HBO’s hit drama opened with a sequence that flashed again to Ellie’s delivery, which passed off as her mom, Anna, singlehandedly fought off a clicker in an empty farmhouse. Sadly for Anna, the contaminated managed to chunk her earlier than she killed it. Fortuitously for Ellie, the chunk passed off earlier than Anna reduce her umbilical wire, which doubtless has one thing to do with Ellie’s immunity from the Cordyceps an infection.

Anna’s previous pal, Marlene, confirmed up shortly after the delivery. Understanding that she didn’t have a lot time left, Anna handed her child over to her, then begged Marlene to kill her earlier than she turned violent. Although Marlene didn’t need to finish her pal’s life, she finally did. (Learn a full recap here, and listen to in regards to the episode from series co-creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann here.)

In a enjoyable Easter Egg for individuals who performed the 2013 Naughty Canine online game on which the collection relies, Anna was portrayed by Ashley Johnson (Blindspot), who voiced Ellie in The Final of Us and The Final of Us Half II. TVLine spoke with the actress about actually birthing a personality she creatively gave life to a decade in the past.

TVLINE | I’ve to let you know that our director of video, Jason Averett, is a Final of Us gamer from manner again. And once we had been trying on the finale screener, he mentioned, “After I heard Ashley’s voice drop the f-bomb, it made me emotional.”
Awwww! [Laughs] That’s hilarious.

TVLINE | Clearly, you and your voice are baked into the DNA of this present. Speak to me about coming in as Ellie’s mother. First off, from a sensible standpoint, did you attempt to pitch your voice otherwise?
No. Final of Us was not my first voiceover, however my first online game, first motion-capture. I do voiceover however not a ton as a result of I’m not a type of, like Troy Baker [whose many varied voice roles include the game’s Joel]. My vary is that this [holds palms very close together and laughs]. So it’s form of my voice. Within the first recreation, I pitched it down just a bit bit, figuring out that she was 14 and younger. However simply barely. Most of it’s simply, that is all I acquired. [Laughs]

TVLINE | It’s about six years after Outbreak Day when Anna provides delivery.
Roughly round there.

TVLINE | Do you suppose that her fierceness and grit is one thing she’s had for a very long time? Or do you suppose she acquired these traits after the outbreak?
I feel, figuring out that she and Marlene had recognized one another their complete lives, at the very least for me, I consider that that grit was already there for Anna. Which is why she’s nonetheless right here on this world, at the very least at this second in time that we see her. I feel she’s robust. She’s simply attempting to dwell on this world and has been surviving up till this level. To get to the purpose that she is — she’s like, “I’m pregnant, and I’m having this child on this actually horrible world already” — I feel it speaks to how connection is so vital on this world. Even in the direction of the top of the episode, with Joel’s actions: On this world, the one factor you may have left is a reference to anyone. All that’s left of humanity is that closeness and hopefully having a relationship with anyone that cares about you or that you simply care about. I like that I used to be capable of be the one to carry Ellie into the world but additionally be the primary one to struggle for her to dwell.

the-last-of-us-finale-recap-season-1-epiosde-9-TVLINE | We hear Ellie discuss how everybody who loves her has left her, from Day 1, and sure, that’s true in precise truth —
Certain. So far as she is aware of.

TVLINE | — so far as she is aware of, proper. However her mom left her as a result of she beloved her a lot and figuring out that if she caught round, issues would get actual unhealthy, actual quick. That hit me laborious whereas I used to be watching the episode, that sacrifice.
Yeah. I feel, had it been completely different and had Anna been capable of… I imply, if she didn’t get bit, if that complete horrible introduction into the world for Ellie didn’t occur, I actually consider that Anna would simply… I imply, that’s her child. She would’ve achieved the whole lot to make her completely happy and make life have a little bit little bit of happiness in it. It’s unhappy!

TVLINE | It’s!
It’s unhappy to consider, as a result of from the start of Ellie’s life, you’re like, there is somebody, and there are so many individuals that care about you. Even Marlene from a distance, the place I take into consideration how attention-grabbing it’s that she put her into the navy faculty. It’s like, “I need to know the place she is, however I can’t have that closeness to her.” I imply, Marlene’s such a badass, however you possibly can inform, the whole lot is simply form of, she’s simply trash-compactoring it down. [Laughs] You’re like, “Uh-oh. That is going to return out someplace most likely in case you ever get to do remedy.” However in fact, that doesn’t occur. [Laughs]

TVLINE | I do know Anna has been proven within the yellow costume in artwork previous to this episode, however when she confirmed up, I used to be considering, “You don’t see anybody carrying attire — or shiny colours — on this world.” All the pieces may be very utilitarian. And right here she is on this horrible scenario on this stunning spring dotted swiss quantity.
I do know! We had talked about it. Logistically, attempting to do the scene and having pants, and attempting to get the pants within the struggle — it made extra sense to have a costume. However speaking about it, a lot of it was simply having that visible of seeing a girl in a costume int his surroundings. We’re not used to it at this level. I feel that additionally simply speaks to Anna holding onto the previous world a little bit bit. Like, “I need to attempt to at the very least look good and really feel like myself though the world shouldn’t be the identical.”

TVLINE | I like that she was so targeted on the struggle that the child actually being born was secondary.
[Laughs] Yeah, I do know! She’s like, “Oh, wow! I’ve a child now.” It’s humorous as a result of even doing the scene and the the girl who performed the clicker, Kelsey Andries, who’s so incredible, we had achieved the scene so many instances. She ended up with a black eye, I’m undecided how. However she was a UFC fighter, so I used to be like, [feigns nonchalance], “Oh, you already know. No massive deal.” [Laughs] However I feel it was most likely an elbow. Who is aware of what it was? However we had been exhausted, as a result of we had been combating one another so laborious… I had so many bruises on the finish of the day that I used to be like, “I don’t even know the place these got here from.” I don’t suppose that’s the equal of “Oh wow, I simply had a child and didn’t notice it,” however yeah, it’s an attention-grabbing second. Additionally a little bit little bit of, I feel at this level Anna is form of — and doubtless everyone else on the planet at this level — there’s form of a disassociation occurring. There’s a lot ache that you simply form of simply are pushing it down continuously since you’re like, “I don’t know easy methods to take care of this. If I do take into consideration the state of the world and the whole lot else round me, I don’t know if I’m going to have the ability to survive.” So there’s a little bit little bit of compartmentalization. It’s in some methods form of humorous that she has the child and doesn’t even discover. It’s what they’ve gotten so used to, that you simply simply put the whole lot in a field, compartmentalize, don’t have to consider something or really feel something. Which is one thing I’m truly actually good at. [Laughs]

TVLINE | Neil Druckmann not too long ago informed reporters that you simply and he had been texting earlier than you shot your scenes, and that you simply had been a little bit nervous about being on the planet of the sport when he wasn’t on set. And it acquired me desirous about how bizarre it should’ve been with out Troy — who filmed his own new role in Episode 8 — there, as effectively.
I filmed 4 days whole, and all the times in between, I saved going to the set simply to see it. As a result of I nonetheless am like, “I can’t consider this was lastly made right into a present.” There have been so many various variations of it over the previous decade. Yeah, I used to be nervous as a result of the primary recreation, and even into the second recreation, a lot of the expertise was about working with Troy and Neil, and the little household. With the primary recreation, we didn’t know the way it was going to be obtained. So it felt very small and intimate with all of us simply collaborating. It was extremely creatively fulfilling. I nonetheless, to today, haven’t had labored on one thing that has given me this sense. Not having Troy and Neil there made me a little bit nervous, as a result of I used to be like, “The trio’s not right here. I don’t have my folks.” I felt a little bit alone in some methods. However it kinda labored. And likewise it was the primary time I labored with Craig. He needed to direct one of many days. [Editor’s note: Ali Abassi directed the episode, but Mazin filled in when needed.] And I had a blast, the entire time. Despite the fact that it was such heavy subject material, it was so enjoyable to see the prosthetics in particular person. Even once we had the chunk on my leg and simply getting to take a seat within the make-up trailer with everyone and attending to know all of the make-up women. We had a lot enjoyable, simply gossiping.

It was such a enjoyable expertise as a result of it was… I don’t even know easy methods to describe it! One thing that you simply’ve beloved for therefore lengthy and that you simply’ve been part of, after which to lastly see it come to gentle for the remainder of the world to see it and be made in such a wonderful manner? Yeah, it’s an incredible feeling. My household, they’re not avid gamers. They’ve by no means performed the sport. So for those that don’t know the story, that don’t know these characters, I lastly will be like, “OK, watch this. That is what the sport’s about.” They’re like, “Oh! Wait, you performed the child?!”

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