Bella Ramsey Explains How Her Non-binary Identity Helps Her Play Ellie In The Last Of Us

Bella Ramsey, whose performance contributed significantly to the show’s glowing accolades, has since said that being non-binary made it easier for her to embody the role of Ellie.

This comes after she recently came out as gender fluid at the start of the year. 

Ramsey, who uses any pronouns but most recently opted for she/her, plays Ellie Williams in the show, which has been taken on by HBO Max, and is the first live-action adaptation since the video game wowed audiences way back in 2013.

The series, which premiered in January, has been met with rave reviews from both critics and fans, resulting in an unbelievable score of 99 percent on Rotten Tomatoes

However, despite the recent success of the series, it has been a bumpy ride for the nineteen-year-old since she was cast as Ellie, as many fans of the game were critical of HBO’s choice for such a crucial character in the show when the news of an adaptation first made its rounds online.  

But there’s no doubt that Ramsay has what it takes, as she has proved her talents prior to this breakout role. She was previously nominated for Best Young Performer at the Critics Choice Awards for her performance in the hit movie Catherine Called Birdy.

And arguably her most well-known role before the HBO sensational series was that of Lyanna Mormont in Game of Thrones.

But despite this, it’s clear the negative press has affected Ramsey’s confidence when it comes to the HBO series. 

Opening up in an interview with the New York Times, Ramsey’s confidence appeared to be shaken by the casting backlash the show received prior to the premiere. She revealed to the publication that this led to them doubting her suitability for the role and even wondering if they were up to the job.

They told the outlet: “It’s only recently that I’ve accepted I am Ellie, and I can do it, and I am a good actor.

“But this will last for a few weeks and then I’ll think I’m terrible again. That’s just the process.”

During the interview, she also revealed something huge, opening up about their gender identity. 

Speaking out about how they identify, Ramsey said: “I guess my gender has always been very fluid,” adding that she identifies as non-binary. “Someone would call me ‘she’ or ‘her’ and I wouldn’t think about it, but I knew that if someone called me ‘he’ it was a bit exciting.

“I’m very much just a person. Being gendered isn’t something that I particularly like, but in terms of pronouns, I really couldn’t care less,” she concluded.

The star went on to reveal more in an interview with GQ, sharing that she wore a chest binder “90 percent” of the time on set, “Which probably isn’t healthy, like please bind safely,” she said. 

Speaking on that topic, Paul Banwell, a plastic surgeon consultant, explained: “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.”

Talking about her identity, she shared: “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],” Ramsey said. “‘Catherine Called Birdy,’ I was in dresses. ‘Young 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.”

Ramsey added that co-star Pedro Pascal was “super supportive” when she opened up to him “We were just very honest and open with each other.”

They often had discussions about gender and s**uality. “And they weren’t always deep: they could be funny and humorous, the whole spectrum,” Ramsey said.

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