Who is Kathleen who Melanie Lynskey Plays in HBO's The Last Of Us?

Who is Kathleen who Melanie Lynskey Plays in HBO's The Last Of Us?
HBO | Showtime

Written by 

Tom Chapman


30th Sep 2022 14:14

It's been a long time coming, but a whole decade after Naughty Dog's The Last of Us defined itself as a game of a generation, HBO's live-action adaptation will be coming to our screens in 2023. Once again charting the human race's decimation at the hands of the cordyceps infection, we follow Ellie, Joel, and the others, as they fight to survive.

Former Game of Thrones alumni Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal take the lead as Ellie and Joel, but alongside the MVPs, there's a who's who of A-list stars. Some of them you might even recognise from the games. However, there's still a big question of who does Melanie Lynskey play in HBO's The Last of Us

Who Does Melanie Lynskey Play In HBO's The Last Of Us?

Melanie Lynskey Kathleen The Last Of Us HBO
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Shortly after HBO dropped the long-awaited The Last of Us, official materials confirmed Melanie Lynskey will be playing Kathleen. For those looking to the games to find out who Kathleen is, she's a brand-new creation specifically for Craig Mazin's The Last of Us series. Kathleen is described as the ruthless leader of a revolutionary movement in Kansas City." Given that Kathleen is new to this world and Kansas City hasn't appeared in the games, we're clearly charting new territory. 

Kansas City isn't one of the in-game quarantine zones, so it's unclear how Kathleen will fit into things here. A lot of Ellie and Joel's trip across Middle America was glossed over in the games, and although Melanie Lynskey's Kathleen might seem like a one-off addition to the cast, Game Director Neil Druckmann tweeted that the star crushed her "episodes." Emphasis on the plural. If that wasn't enough, Druckmann previously told IGN that Ellie and Joel would meet fan-favourite Henry and Sam from the games in Kansas City.

Lynskey is a star on the rise, and aside from roles in the likes of Two and a Half Men and Castle Rock, she's more recently known for her part as an older version of Shauna Sadecki on Showtime's Yellowjackets. We know the Lost-inspired drama will be back in the first half of 2023, but it won't be Lynskey's only big role next year. 

Who Is In The Last Of Us Cast?

Nick Offerman Bill The Last of Us HBO
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Joining Lynskey, Pascal, and Ramsey is a who's who of famous faces. Although there were calls for Jeffrey Pierce to reprise his role as Tommy Miller from the games, the part of Joel's younger brother has gone to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Diego Luna. Pierce does have a part to play, and much like Kathleen being a new creation, he's a quarantine zone rebel called Perry. Another returning favourite is Merle Dandridge, who returns from playing Marlene in the game for live-action.

Fringe's Anna Torv will play Joel's love interest, Tess, while Euphoria's Storm Reid portrays Riley. Yes, this means The Last of Us will cover the events of the Left Behind DLC. Rounding off the cast, Lamar Johnson and Keivonn Woodard play Henry and Sam, The White Lotus' Murray Barlett is Frank, and Parks and Recreation's Nick Offerman is Bill.

Finally, original Joel and Ellie voice actors Tory Baker and Ashley Johnson have been cast in (currently) undisclosed roles. If the talent wasn't enough, hopes are high that The Last of Us could break the live-action video game adaptation curse and be TV's next big thing. 

Tom Chapman
About the author
Tom Chapman
Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.
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