Bella Ramsey explains how a nonbinary identity has helped her play Ellie in The Last of Us
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In the midst of all the hype around HBO's explosive zombie apocalypse series The Last of Us, series star Bella Ramsey has opened up about her non-binary identity.
Bella, whose performance is behind a large chunk of the show's stellar reviews, has since explained that being non-binary really helped her get into the character of Ellie.
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 probably best known as Lyanna Mormont in Game of Thrones.
Playing characters like Lyanna and Ellie has given Bella plenty of experience playing the badass preteen, but she's also used to far more feminine roles like Catherine in Catherine Called Birdy and Lady Jane Grey in Becoming Elizabeth.
And while she says it was 'really fun' playing these characters, Bella says that's all they are: characters.
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]."
"Catherine Called Birdy, I was in dresses. Becoming 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."
While playing Ellie in The Last of Us, Bella says she wore a chest binder '90 percent' of the time, which helped her focus on set and get into character.
"Which probably isn't healthy, like please bind safely," she added.
According to health information providers Patient.info, chest binding, which is often used to reduce the appearance of a feminine chest to prevent feelings of gender dysphoria, can carry significant health risks if done wrong, so it's crucial it's done safely.
Consultant plastic surgeon Paul Banwell explained: "The safest way to bind the chest is with a binder designed for that purpose, whether it's a sports bra or chest binder.
"The general advice is that you shouldn't wear a chest binder for more than eight consecutive hours - otherwise, you may experience back pain, breathing problems and other side effects."
Another great help to Bella was her co-star Pedro Pascal, whose sister came out as transgender in 2021 and has been 'super supportive' of her.
Bella told GQ that the pair had plenty of conversations about gender and sexuality during their time on set together.
She said: "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."
Elsewhere in the interview, Bella commented 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."
Topics: Film & TV, LGBTQ, Film and TV, HBO