The Actress Behind Ellie's Mom in 'The Last of Us' Actually Played Ellie in the Video Game

Katherine Stinson - Author
By

Mar. 10 2023, Published 9:38 p.m. ET

Anna (Ashley Johnson)
Source: HBO

Warning: The following article contains spoilers for The Last of Us Season 1 on HBO Max.

All Joel (Pedro Pascal) was supposed to do in The Last of Us on HBO Max was transport Ellie (Bella Ramsey) west in the hopes that her immunity to the Cordyceps infection could serve as the basis of a vaccine for humanity. However, he ended up forming a fatherly bond with his quarry, given how she reminds him of his dead daughter Sarah.

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But what about Ellie's parents? According to the trailer for The Last of Us Season 1 finale, we're finally going to be meeting Ellie's mom in a flashback.

The actress who plays Ellie's mom actually has a huge connection to The Last of Us video game.

Ellie (Bella Ramsey)
Source: HBO

What happened to Ellie's mom anyway?

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Who plays Ellie's mom in 'The Last of Us' show?

Ellie's mom, Anna, will be played by Ashley Johnson. Ashley actually originated the role of Ellie in The Last of Us video games, so it definitely feels like perfect casting to have her play Ellie's mom in The Last of Us show!

Ashley is a voice actor and motion capture performer. In The Last of Us show, Ellie's mom is dead when Ellie and Joel travel across the country. All Ellie has of her mother is her switchblade and a note that Ellie holds close to her heart (in her backpack, anyway.)

Per Ashley's IMDb, Ashley has a list longer than a CVS receipt of acting credits to her name, having appeared on shows like Blindspot, Family Guy, Critical Role, Recess, Touched by an Angel, and many, many more.

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How does Ellie's mom play into 'The Last of Us' Season 1 finale?

We won't know exactly why The Last of Us show features Ellie's mom in the first season finale until the episode drops on Sunday, March 12th, but a shot of a very pregnant Ashley struggling against one of the infected does appear as a clue in The Last of Us Season 1 finale promo.

Could her appearance give more context behind the mystery of Ellie's immunity to the virus?

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The Last of Us show creator Neil Druckmann told Rotten Tomatoes that he and the series showrunner Craig Mazin fell in love with extra stories written for The Last of Us video game series that never saw the light of day, so they felt like, "Oh my God, we got to put these on the screen."

One of the stories involved Ellie's mom. Neil stated in the same interview that, "[The story of Ellie's mom] was one of those stories that were near and dear to my heart, and I’m so glad that it gets to live.”

The Season 1 finale of The Last of Us airs this Sunday, March 12 on HBO and HBO Max at 9 p.m. EST.

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