HBO’s The Last of Us was a major success. Not only was it one of the best shows of 2023, but two of their performers (Nick Offerman and Storm Reid) won Emmys for their performances. After season 2 concluded, there was a big question everyone wanted the answer to. Who was going to play Abby? That question was answered.
For those who don’t know Kaitlyn Dever, she appeared in Hulu's Dopesick in 2021. It was this writer's introduction to her and she was incredible. Dever recently starred in one of 2023’s best horror movies, No One Will Save You. This alone is enough to say she has the acting skills to play Abby. However, is she the right choice? Yes and no.
THE LAST OF SEASON 2 SPOILERS AHEAD
The Good and The Bad with adding Abby to The Last of Us season 2
Depending on who you ask, Abby could be the protagonist or the villain of The Last of Us. Either way, killing Joel was an easy way to get fans to hate her. He's a beloved character and one of the best PlayStation has created. However, Joel killed her father. So who was right? That’s up for the gamer or viewer to decide.
Kaitlyn Dever is more than capable of portraying this part of Abby. She’ll put an angry face on when she’s beating Joel and her rage be believable. When she finally meets Ellie and everyone who's after her, Kaitlyn Dever will show that same anger again. Overall, this was a good choice. The only concerning part is her size.
Abby’s most notable trait is her size. She’s tall and has arms like tree trunks. Kaitlyn Dever is five feet two inches tall. Bella Ramsey is only an inch shorter. Part of what makes Ellie and Abby’s fight epic is the size differential. Some gamers could be upset by this casting. Nevertheless, there’s one thing that people need to remember. HBO’s The Last of Us isn’t the game. It’s set in an alternate reality.
As a fan of the game, this writer initially didn’t like the casting. She’s too small to play Abby. A change like that could take away from who she is to the character. The same could have been said about a couple of characters and plots from The Last of Us.
Pedro Pascal's Joel wasn’t as aggressive and ruthless as his PlayStation counterpart. It would not have fit the game, but it worked on the show. Frank and Bill had an actual loving life that wasn’t shown in the game. Actually, calling their relationship romantic in the game is a stretch.
Both of these examples prove that change can be good. Especially when the creative team is good. And, as we’ve seen, the people behind The Last of Us on HBO know what they’re doing. They understand the heart of the game and what people want to see on the show.
Stay tune to Bam Smack Pow for more news from The Last of Us as it comes out.