‘The Last of Us’ Star Merle Dandridge Says It Was ‘Emotional’ to Reprise Video Game Role in HBO Series

HBO’s highly-anticipated television adaptation of Naughty Dog’s critically acclaimed video game “The Last of Us” is set to premiere on Sunday evening, and while the live-action version finds different performers filling the roles of the game’s characters, Merle Dandridge was tasked with reprising her role as Marlene in live-action form. An experience she admits was emotional and, at first, a little uncomfortable.

The series takes place 20 years after modern civilization has been destroyed. Joel (Pedro Pascal), a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle a 14-year-old girl named Ellie (Bella Ramsey) out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal, heartbreaking journey, as they both must traverse the U.S. and depend on each other for survival.

Dandridge did voiceover and motion capture work on both “Last of Us” video games, originating the role of Marlene, the leader of the Fireflies,

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