Bella Ramsey explains how a nonbinary identity has helped her play Ellie in The Last of Us
'What bothers me more than pronouns: being called a 'young woman' or a 'powerful young woman''
The Last of Us star Bella Ramsey has spoken about her non-binary identity and what bothers her more than people messing up pronouns.
Bella, whose been lauded for her performance in the zombie apocalypse series, explained that being non-binary helped her get into the character of Ellie.
In an interview with GQ, she explained: "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]."
Before she appeared in the HBO hit series, Bella - who doesn't mind what pronouns are used for her and is comfortable with she/her - was best known as Lyanna Mormont in Game of Thrones.
Playing characters like Lyanna and Ellie has gifted Bella plenty of experience playing a badass preteen, but she had far more versatility than that stereotype. She's also played more feminine roles like Catherine in Catherine Called Birdy and Lady Jane Grey in Becoming Elizabeth.
Bella says it is "really fun" playing characters, but stressed they're exactly that: characters.
"Catherine Called Birdy, I was in dresses. Becoming Elizabeth, I was in a corset. And I felt super powerful in that," Bella told GQ.
"Playing these more feminine characters is a chance to be something so opposite to myself, and it's really fun."
While playing Ellie in The Last of Us, Bella says she wore a chest binder - often used to reduce the appearance of a feminine chest to prevent feelings of gender dysphoria - "90 per cent" of the time.
She said, it helped her get into character: "Which probably isn't healthy, like please bind safely," she told the publication.
Bella's co-star, Pedro Pascal, has also been a huge help, she told GQ. Pascal's sister came out as transgender in 2021.
Bella said the pair had plenty of conversations about gender and sexuality during their time on set together, saying: "And they weren't always deep [conversations]: they could be funny and humorous, the whole spectrum.
"We were just very honest and open with each other."
Bella also commented to GQ on the backlash from some The Last of Us viewers about the queer elements that had been added to the show's storyline that weren't in the original game.
"I'm not particularly anxious about it," she said.
"I know people will think what they want to think. But they're gonna have to get used to it.
"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."
Read the GQ article here.