After months of speculation, HBO has announced who'll play Abby in The Last of Us (TLoU) season 2 – and it's an unusual but nonetheless terrific choice.
In a post uploaded to Max's X/Twitter account yesterday (January 9), it was revealed that Kaitlyn Dever had been cast in the hit show's second season.
Kaitlyn Dever has joined the cast of the HBO Original series #TheLastofUs for Season 2. @TheLastofUsHBO pic.twitter.com/dFnhGsJ1x2January 9, 2024
It was Naughty Dog – the developer behind The Last of Us' hugely successful video game series, which HBO's TV adaptation is based on – that confirmed who Dever would play in The Last of Us season 2. Taking to X/Twitter, the studio announced that Dever had been hired to portray Abby Anderson, the deuteragonist from The Last of Part II, aka the second game in the post-apocalyptic survival series, which the show's second season is inspired by.
We're thrilled that Kaitlyn Dever is joining @TheLastOfUsHBO Season 2 as Abby! We can't wait to see her journey unfold on TV. 💪 https://t.co/BZRimbXww6January 9, 2024
In a joint statement via Variety, co-showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann said: "Our casting process for season 2 has been identical to season 1: we look for world-class actors who embody the souls of the characters in the source material. Nothing matters more than talent, and we’re thrilled to have an acclaimed performer like Kaitlyn join Pedro [Pascal], Bella [Ramsey], and the rest of our family."
Dever was last seen playing the lead role in Hulu's sci-fi horror movie No One Will Save You, and the more drama-fuelled role she played in that film certainly proved she has the emotional intensity to embody Abby in one of the best Max shows' sophomore season.
Let's get physical
Curiously, Dever was reportedly one of the favorites to play Ellie in HBO's The Last of Us, before the role was eventually won by Ramsey. It seems, then, that the Booksmart and Last Man Standing star made a big impression on the show's creative team, which potentially led to her landing the role of Abby.
The talented actor's hiring has been hailed by many TLoU fans, as well as those involved in Naughty Dog's video game franchise and/or HBO's adaptation. However, a small minority have criticized Dever's casting, with that contingent suggesting she doesn't have the physical capabilities to portray the muscular antagonist.
With Dever standing at just 5ft 2 inches, and Abby said to be around 5ft 11 inches, such complaints appear understandable. However, Ramsey is also on the shorter side height-wise – Dever's fellow actor comes in at a little over 5ft 1 inch, which makes Ramsey shorter than Ellie is in The Last of Us Part II. Fans shouldn't worry about Dever's ability to carry off Abby's physically imposing frame either, as she's sure to undergo an intense and extensive training regime to bulk up for the role.
Concerned fans, then, shouldn't read much into Dever's capacity to deliver an engaging, heart-breaking, and physically strong performance as Abby. And, if you're really that worried, remember: few fans were convinced Pascal would do such a good job as Joel, and look how that turned out. In short: wait for The Last of Us season 2 to launch on Max in the US, one of the world's best streaming services – it'll also be available on Sky (UK) and Binge (Australia) – before drawing your conclusions.
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