It's hard to escape the hype around HBO's The Last of Us. Critics are raving, homophobes are seething (about being tricked into caring about a gay love story) and Bella Ramsey is thriving — just don't call her a "powerful young woman."
Riding high off the recent news that The Last of Us has already been renewed for a second season, Ramsey opened up in a GQ interview about identifying as nonbinary, finding gratification in playing strong women on screen and her frustrations with some of the gendered language viewers have used to describe her.
“This is what bothers me more than pronouns: being called a ‘young woman’ or a ‘powerful young woman,’ ‘young lady,’ but I'm just not [that],” Ramsey, who elected to use she/her pronouns for the profile, told the publication. That said, the actor went on to add that she still finds playing more feminine roles enjoyable: “Catherine Called Birdy, I was in dresses. 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 previously spoke about identifying as nonbinary in a New York Times profile where she explained that she sees herself as a person rather than a gender: “Being gendered isn’t something that I particularly like."
Ramsey went on to talk about how wearing a chest binder for 90% of the time while filming the show — “Which probably isn’t healthy, like please bind safely” — helped her focus better, as well as about the many conversations she had with co-star Pedro Pascal, who has been vocally supportive of his trans sister, about gender and sexuality on set. “And they weren’t always deep: they could be funny and humorous, the whole spectrum. We were just very honest and open with each other.”
Ramsey also went on to address the criticism of The Last of Us' queer storylines (and those who have played the video game will know the story only gets even more queer characters and storylines in Part II). "I know people will think what they want to think. But they’re gonna have to get used to it," she said. "If you don’t want to watch the show because it has gay storylines, because it has a trans character, that’s on you, and you’re missing out.”
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