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The Backlash From Being Cast As The Last Of Us' Ellie Took A Huge Toll On Bella Ramsey

When it comes to adaptations, there's always going to be a small but vocal portion of the internet that has a problem with the casting. People develop a sense of who characters are in their heads, and when real life doesn't abide by their personal choices, they can lash out. And it's important to remember there are people on the other side of that screen, potentially reading those comments and feeling terrible about the whole situation. 

That was the case with Bella Ramsey, who landed the role of Ellie in HBO's "The Last of Us" series. Based on the best-selling video game franchise, "The Last of Us" follows Joel (Pedro Pascal), who's tasked with escorting Ellie across a post-apocalyptic American landscape in the hopes the child holds the key to humanity's salvation. 

Upon Ramsey's initial casting, people lashed out for thinking they didn't look much like Ellie from the video games. Now, Ramsey has spoken out about the backlash and how it made them think they didn't deserve to play Ellie. 

Bella Ramsey went through a range of emotions with The Last of Us backlash

Bella Ramsey spoke with The New York Times about "The Last of Us," and when the topic of the initial backlash came up, Ramsey responded, "It's the first time I've ever had a negative reaction to something. There would be times I'd find it funny. Then I'd get to the end of a 10-minute scrolling session, put my phone down and realize: Maybe that was a bad idea." It's a shame Ramsey felt that way, and it's a good reminder that the people you talk about online have the potential to read what you write about them. 

Ramsey continued, "It's only recently that I've accepted I am Ellie, and I can do it, and I am a good actor, but this will last for a few weeks and then I'll think I'm terrible again. That's just the process." Some fans of "The Last of Us" have had quite a bit to say on the casting of the HBO series. Even Pedro Pascal, despite proving what he's capable of as an actor in "Game of Thrones" and "The Mandalorian," faced significant pushback due to fans believing he wouldn't be able to grow Joel's iconic beard (via The Hollywood Reporter).

Ultimately, it's for the best to let the art speak for itself. "The Last of Us" Episode 1 debuts on HBO Max on January 15, and hopefully, Ramsey and Pascal prove all of the haters wrong.