Anna Torv, the star of ABC’s sci-fi series Fringe and a supporting player on David Fincher’s probably-canceled Netflix drama Mindhunter, is about to step into one of HBO’s biggest upcoming genre shows. Torv is the latest actor to join The Last of Us, the television adaptation of the popular video game franchise. She’ll play Tess, the smuggling partner of one of the story’s main characters, Joel (Pedro Pascal).
Variety broke the Last of Us Anna Torv casting news, revealing that the Australian actress will play the character of Tess, “a smuggler and hardened survivor in a post-pandemic world.” In the original 2013 game, Tess serves as Joel’s partner in crime in a world that’s been overrun by a fungus that turns people into zombie-like creatures and in which the military has set up oppressive outposts and imposed curfews in major cities. Early in the game, Tess and Joel meet up with a woman named Marlene (Merle Dandridge), who promises to return some stolen merchandise to them if they deliver a young girl named Ellie (Bella Ramsey) to a location across town, outside of the militarized quarantine zone.
Let’s just say the journey does not go smoothly, and the rest of the story involves Joel and Ellie traveling across the country to reach the leaders of a resistance group.
Torv is perfectly suited to play Tess, a complex woman who has seen and done some dark things and is willing to make sacrifices to stay alive. Since her high-profile appearance on Mindhunter, in which she showed off some of that steely determination and vulnerability that she will likely get to utilize in the role of Tess, she has starred in an Australian television series called The Newsreader and is credited on IMDb as appearing in one episode of a miniseries called Fires, which is currently filming and appears to be about a series of bushfires that tore across Australia.
The Last of Us, which is going to feature a budget of more than 10 million per episode, is written and executive produced by Craig Mazin (Chernobyl) and video game writer and creative director Neil Druckman. The two of them serve as co-showrunners and executive producers alongside Evan Wells (president of the video game company Naughty Dog), Rose Lam (The L Word), and Carolyn Strauss (Game of Thrones). Kantemir Balagov (Beanpole) is set to direct the pilot, with Jasmila Žbani? (Quo Vadis, Aida) and Ali Abbasi (Border) also attached to direct.
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