Bella Ramsey gets real about the pressures of fame and feeling like an ‘object’: ‘I’m not adjusted at all’
The Last of Us star Bella Ramsey has opened up about their struggles with newfound fame.
Ramsey is the hottest name on everyone’s lips since their jaw-dropping performance as sparky queer teen Ellie Williams in season one of HBO’s hit post-apocalyptic, evil-mushroom fighting show The Last of Us opposite the internet’s “cool, slutty daddy” Pedro Pascal.
But with skyrocketing fame also comes the pitfalls of the spotlight, which is something the 19-year-old actor knows all too well.
Beyond their unapologetic queer advocacy and heartwarming media appearances, they’ve also shared the more difficult aspects of stardom. In an exclusive interview for Deadline’s Awards Line cover story, Ramsey opened up about the consequences of becoming a celebrity.
After it was pointed out how Ramsey has almost turned down The Last of Us role due to the fear of public attention, the actor was asked how they’re now dealing with the fallout of overnight fame.
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“It’s been a mixture of things,” Ramsey replied. “I keep thinking that I’ve adjusted, and then something new will happen and I’ll have realised I’m not adjusted at all.
“There’s been a lot of really lovely positive reactions, and most people that come and say hi are very sweet. But I think when it’s just happening so much, it can get tiring and you can slip into feeling like more of an object than a person.
“That’s one of the biggest things. It’s scary sometimes. And also, what I find hard is the knowledge that [fame] is never going to be less than this now. I can’t reverse it.”
Co-star Pascal, who has shared his own huge admiration and respect for Ramsey, added: “You’ve crossed a threshold.”
“Yeah,” Ramsey agreed. “And there’s no way back, even if I quit acting, which I’m not going to do, but even that won’t cure it because I’ve already crossed the threshold.
“I’m learning to accept it in terms of travelling, which I enjoy particularly, and doing lots of press. But recently, I’ve been like ‘well this is it. This is my life now’.
“And I just have to get on with it and deal with it and accept it. And this acceptance does a lot for me rather than trying to fight it.”
Ramsey’s journey to this point hasn’t been easy. Prior to landing their big break, they faced constant rejection for not having “the Hollywood look” and things remained complicated after the success of The Last of Us, as they told British Vogue for their Pride issue about the difficulties coming out as non-binary in Hollywood.
Elsewhere, Ramsey has spoken out against gendered award categories, joining a growing group of non-binary stars such as Emma D’Arcy (House of the Dragon) and Emma Corrin (The Crown) slamming the exclusion of genderfluid identities.
Despite their reservations, the award-winning actor thankfully isn’t going anywhere soon. We already have our exciting first looks at their upcoming lead roles in season two of BBC’s Time as a prison inmate and period drama Monstrous Beauty as a playwright with a rare condition that means they are entirely covered in hair.
The Last of Us is available to stream on HBO Max.
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