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Isabela Merced Played The ‘Fun’ Last Of Us Game To Get Ready For Dina Role

The video game adaptation is set to continue in 2025.

Isabela Merced stepped in to play Ellie’s girlfriend, Dina, in ‘The Last of Us’ Season 2 last year. Merced played the franchise’s second game to get into her role and recently shared with Collider:

“Yeah. I have been a fan of the series. I actually hadn’t played the game until I found out about me potentially being in it, but I only played the second game and that was such an experience. I had a lot of fun.”

She also explained what made the game fun for her:

“People say, ‘How did you have fun playing it? It’s a very sad story.’ But it’s just so well-made. When you see the Bloaters, your heart starts racing, your hands are all sweaty, and you can barely hold onto the controller. It’s just an amazing experience. I consider anything that makes my heart rate go up to be a fun experience, so I enjoyed it. Great work from Neil Druckmann.”

The Actress Got A Direct Offer For The Part

Showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann directly reached out to Isabela Merced’s team to discuss her casting in the HBO show. The actress recalled:

“They said, ‘We wanna meet with her for ‘The Last of Us’?’ And my team was like, ‘Hey, for what role?’ And they didn’t specify. They just said, ‘Have her watch the game on YouTube.’ And I was like, ‘I wanna play the game.’ And then, we had a meeting and they proposed it at the meeting.”

Merced joined the cast opposite Pedro Pascal [Joel] and Bella Ramsey [Ellie]. She mentioned the chemistry between her and Ramsey by saying:

“I’m so excited for people to see my chemistry with Bella. Bella and I have so much chemistry. From the first day, it was there. There’s no work to be done. I really respect Bella. I just saw ‘Catherine Called Birdy’ and Bella has such range and just an honesty about their work. I’m learning so much. I’m very honored to be here.”

The studio announced the Dina actress in January. Filming for ‘The Last of Us’ Season 2 started in British Columbia a month later.

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