Actor Bella Ramsey has been receiving a lot of attention and support as of late for their role as Ellie in The Last Of Us – easily one of the biggest television series of 2023. The show has been gaining millions of fans with every episode since it premiered in early January, with queer viewers particularly invested thanks to powerful storylines that provide visibility for the LGBTQ+ community.
I’m hardly the first person to tweet this, but bloody hell #TheLastOfUs is so good ain’t it? Every week you think surely it can’t keep having such an impact, yet it just gets better and better. @BellaRamsey’s performance in episode 8 is unbelievable and deserves all the awards! pic.twitter.com/qkDEsLRMCJ
— Jack Rafferty (@JackRaff) March 7, 2023
While the representation has resulted in rave reviews from some, the series has also received backlash from homophobic viewers, and a kissing scene between Ellie and Riley (played by Storm Reid) was censored in several countries.
Despite the online criticism, Ramsey continues to express optimism about the future of LGBTQ+ content on mainstream series, saying that haters will just have to get used to it. They credit this positivity to all of the love they continue to feel from the messages of support they receive from audiences, ultimately overpowering the criticisms of “homophobic trolls”.
Bella Ramsey on the positive response of The Last of Us HBO and Ramsey’s persona:
“I’ve had people message me and say that it’s helped people come to terms with who they are," “That’s been really nice to hear as well. I guess I just want to be authentic.” pic.twitter.com/bRMLeQOzwp
— DomTheBomb (@DomTheBombYT) March 4, 2023
Ramsey said, “I’m very aware that there’s a gay army who are on Twitter who are just supporting me and Ellie, and it’s like they’re so much louder than any people who still hate it, or hate the show, the homophobic trolls, whatever. And it’s just like that feels nice to just have that army behind me.”
Opening up about their own queerness, Bella Ramsey confirmed they are non-binary and that they use any pronouns. They’ve said, “I’m very much just a person. Being gendered isn’t something that I particularly like.”
— maxi. 💭 (@maxinkhr) March 7, 2023
They have shared that being called a “young woman” or “young lady” feels wrong, explaining, “…I’m just not [a woman]… In Young Elizabeth, I was in a corset. And I felt super powerful in that. Playing these more feminine characters is a chance to be something so opposite to myself, and it’s really fun.”
Ramsey also shared that their co-star, Pedro Pascal, has expressed endless support for their identity on set, and he’s had open conversations with them about gender and sexuality.
“I call her 'Bellie', and she’s my blessing. It was just a match made in heaven and I love her.”
– Pedro Pascal on Bella Ramsey pic.twitter.com/psO9S5Exiu
— Pedro Pascal Daily (@pascalarchive) March 6, 2023
Pascal is a visible LGBTQ+ ally who has supported and advocated for LGBTQ+ rights throughout his career. The 47-year-old The Last Of Us actor has publicly supported his sister, Lux, who came out as a trans woman in 2021. At the time, he proudly shared the cover of a Chilean magazine featuring his sister with the caption, “My sister, my heart, our Lux.”
He was recently accosted by a reporter who asked him why queer storylines on television are important. Pascal responded candidly, telling the reporter that they should know why, and later posted a photo of a progress Pride flag captioned, “The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind.”
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