The Indian Express | 1 week ago | 19-03-2023 | 11:45 am
Did you know that the creator of hit HBO shows such as The Last of Us and Chernobyl, Craig Mazin, was a screenwriter of comedy films such as Scary Movie 3 and Scary Movie 4, as well as The Hangover Part 2 among more? The man is versatile. It was Craig’s interest as an avid video gamer that first drew him to The Last Of Us. He played the video game which first came out a decade ago, and was moved enough by the portrayal of the father-daughter bond in it to want to adapt it as a live-action TV show, Craig admitted in an earlier New York Times interview. And after Chernobyl’s success, it just became that much easier for Mazin to get another show greenlit.The Last of Us, headlined by internet’s latest craze Pedro Pascal, and the young and talented Bella Ramsay, hit streamers this January and was immediately declared a hit, with views touching almost 30 million until now (not including its finale), at par with the Games of Thrones spin-off House of Dragon. But we are rushing ahead, let us go back to the short but perfect send-off to the show which the makers achieved with episode nine.(SPOILERS) In the final episode of the first season, we take a quick detour to the past, to Ellie’s (Bella Ramsay) birth. And who do we see as Ellie’s mother? Only the OG Ellie, the voice actor Ashley Johnson who played Ellie in the video game. Great casting choice because not only does Ashley Johnson ace the part, you feel like she is giving a lot of herself in just those few moments reserved for Anna, and it is easy to see why that was the case. In a behind-the-scene video of the show, Ashley is heard saying, “There was a special level for me to play the mother of this character that I care so deeply about. It was the first time that I had to give birth on camera, and it was an incredible day, we were dealing with real babies, which is usually hard, but they connected so well. The scene shows how strong Ellie is, where she came from and what she had to go through, and that even her mother had such a fight in her to live.”There is something about HBO and brutal births. First, there was the House of Dragon bit featuring Laena’s birth, and now there is The Last of Us segment where we see Ellie as a baby. There is a fight to survive battle with a clicker, a deep scar, lots of blood and multiple deaths, as soon as Ellie comes to life. And it all seems surreal when you know the context — Ellie is giving birth to Ellie, like an animal eating its own head. According to a Variety report, Ashley Johnson had to put on a 30 pound fake belly to portray Anna as a woman who is on the verge of delivery.This should not be much of a surprise, but Anna dies, she dies so that Ellie can live. Merle Dandridge, who played Marlene in the show, said that filming Anna’s death was heartbreaking for her. In the BTS clip, the actor said she has a hard time controlling her emotions when speaking of that moment: “I don’t know if I can talk about the scene without crying, they are fictional characters. We know what that is when we cannot save the people we love, to feel powerless, and Marlene certainly feels that in the moment because Anna is her best friend of childhood, who she had to execute.”Apart from the wild viewership, The Last of Us has won over critics as well, with review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes giving it an impressive 96 per cent.In India, The Last of Us is available to stream on Disney Plus Hotstar.