Original Joel actor, Troy Baker, broke down his new character’s death on the HBO adaptation of The Last of Us. While hunting deer to keep herself and Joel (Pedro Pascal) alive, Ellie (Bella Ramsey) encounters the cannibalistic religious leader David (Scott Shepard) and his right-hand man James (Baker). Although David wants to bring her into his cult-like community, Ellie continuously fights back, eventually killing both David and James with a meat cleaver.
In a video from HBO Max, Baker broke down James’ brutal death in The Last of Us episode 8.
The actor discussed the differences between performing for a video game and acting on a real set, highlighting the imagination needed for virtual productions. Baker called his episode 8 death scene “awesome” and detailed the complex prosthetics used to create realistic gore. Read what he said below:
When you do performance capture, a lot of it is pretend. And so, if you’re bleeding, you have to pretend that there’s blood. If you get stabbed, you have to pretend that you get stabbed. When you’re making an actual film or show like this, they go all out.
So, I spent the entire morning in prosthetics. And they had this magnetic attachment in my neck so that when Bell swung the clever, it would stick. And it did. It was like…(mimics magnets connecting) right there. And then, they had this bladder full of blood. That’s actually what they called it. They had a bladder full of blood that was piped up through my neck through this prosthetic. So, when Bella hits me with the cleaver, I stagger back and blood goes everywhere. It was just blood, blood, blood.
I went through eight changes of wardrobe. And each time, I got to sit in a cold pool of my own blood. It was awesome.
How The Last of Us Episode 8 Prepares Ellie for the Finale
With Joel incapacitated for much of The Last of Us episode 8, Ellie was forced to protect herself this time around. She managed to acquire medicine to get Joel back on his feet while taking down the sadistic leader of a violent survivor group. Ellie’s actions in this episode not only bolstered her self-confidence moving forward but may have also caused severe trauma that will affect her leading into the finale and beyond.
Although Ellie has already killed prior to her encounter with David, savagely murdering the man in an impassioned rage has to take a toll. The Last of Us season 1 finale images features Ellie sitting on the bed of a pickup truck, lost in thought, perhaps wrestling with the trauma she incurred from that brawl. Coupled with her solemn narration in the episode’s trailer, which has Ellie stating that everything thing they’ve been through “can’t be for nothing,” she is likely more determined than ever to reach the Fireflies and create a potential vaccine for the Cordyceps fungal infection.
The Last of Us season 1 finale may find Joel and Ellie reaching their final destination. However, their biggest obstacle may not be in the form of more infected, but could come from within. If Ellie reaches the Fireflies safely, the revolutionary group may need her indefinitely to produce a vaccine. Throughout their perilous journey, Joel and Ellie developed an unshakable bond, one that may be jeopardized when The Last of Us season 1 concludes on Sunday.
More: The Last Of Us Episode 8’s Violence Sets Up Ellie’s Season 2 Change
Source: HBO Max