The Last of Us Part II actor Ian Alexander wants to reprise trans character Lev for HBO’s show
Trans non-binary actor Ian Alexander voiced transgender character Lev in the video game The Last of Us: Part Two – and now, they’ve staked their claim to reprise the role in the second series of the TV adaptation.
The first and current season of HBO’s hit series The Last of Us is covering all the events of the first video game, and while creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann haven’t yet explicitly confirmed it, they have hinted that a second season of the show would cover the events of the game’s 2020 sequel, including the introduction of trans character Lev.
The plot of the second game follows Ellie and newcomer Abby on separate but intertwined journeys across the post-apocalyptic United States.
Abby’s storyline follows her interpersonal conflict between her militia group – the WLF – and a cult-like group called The Seraphites. Abby eventually allies with two defectors named Yara and Lev from the latter group.
Yara and Lev are both fleeing the cult because Lev shaved their head and the group subsequently decides to punish them. As the game progresses and Abby’s bond with the two grows, we learn that the reason Lev cut his hair is because he was born as Lily.
While on the red carpet for Marvel’s upcoming animated series Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Alexander, who also appeared in Star Trek: Discovery, said that they would love to reprise their role.
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“I was just so grateful that I was able to be a part of that franchise and I’m so excited that we got picked up for season two,” Alexander told Insider. “My fingers are crossed that I get to reprise my role as Lev.”
Alexander (while wearing a pendant from The Last of Us) also noted that when the game’s sequel was released and Lev was introduced, “there was so much backlash, so much transphobic backlash, from fans of the game who didn’t want to see a transgender character in the game”.
They added: “It was heartbreaking because in the original game, there was queer representation. There was Bill and Frank. I’m glad that they’re making the LGBTQ representation more explicit and more just… obviously queer. I’d love to see more of that.”
Bella Ramsey, who plays Ellie, has also spoken out against bigoted viewers.
The renewal for the second series of The Last of Us was announced after just two episodes of the first season had aired in late January, with WarnerMedia reporting that HBO had renewed the survival/horror series.
Executive producer Neil Druckmann, who is also the co-president of Naughty Dog, The Last of Us game’s developer, said: “I’m humbled, honoured and frankly overwhelmed that so many people have tuned in and connected with our retelling of Joel and Ellie’s journey.
“Now we have the absolute pleasure of being able to do it again with season two.”
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