‘The Last of Us’ Star Melanie Lynskey Responds to Criticism of Her Casting: “I Don’t Need to Be Muscly”
Melanie Lynskey, who marked her The Last of Us debut Sunday, is addressing criticism of her casting on the popular HBO series.
Lynskey, who plays Kathleen in the adaptation of the zombie video game, took to Twitter on Wednesday to respond to a post from America’s Next Top Model first-season winner Adrianne Curry. In referring to Lynskey, Curry wrote that “her body says life of luxury…not post apocolyptic warlord.” Curry also referenced the Terminator franchise in the since-deleted tweet by writing, “Where is Linda Hamilton when you need her?”
This led Lynskey, whose character is a leader of a Kansas City-based revolutionary movement, to post a screenshot of Curry’s tweet, which was underneath a photo of the actress from an InStyle shoot. “Firstly- this is a photo from my cover shoot for InStyle magazine, not a still from HBO’s The Last Of Us,” Lynskey wrote. “And I’m playing a person who meticulously planned & executed an overthrow of FEDRA. I am supposed to be SMART, ma’am. I don’t need to be muscly. That’s what henchmen are for.”
The Yellowjackets star later posted a separate Twitter thread in which she praised The Last of Us series co-creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann for encouraging her to embody a character who is original to the series and wasn’t necessarily “the coolest or the toughest person” but is the one with the best ideas amid the devastating world depicted on the show.
“I wanted her to be feminine, and soft-voiced, and all the things that we’ve been told are ‘weak.’ Because honestly, fuck that,” Lynskey tweeted. She also added, “I understand that some people are mad that I’m not the typical casting for this role. That’s thrilling to me. Other than the moments after action is called, when you feel like you’re actually in someone else’s body, the most exciting part of my job is subverting expectations.”
Although her original post was deleted, Curry appeared to double down on her statement with numerous tweets responding to Lynskey’s messages. In addition to clarifying that a different Twitter user had posted the InStyle image, Curry wrote that she hadn’t intended to criticize Lynskey but that she didn’t find her to be the right casting choice to make the character believable.
“I said she was too soft spoken, short and curvaceous for me to buy as a ‘warlord’ over warrior men in a group of savage humans in post apocalyptical societal collapse,” the Surreal Life alum tweeted.
Curry also said that her initial message included what she perceived to be a compliment for Lynskey, but that it wasn’t seen in the screenshot that Lynskey posted: “She cropped out what I said about her perfect hour glass frame being the most desirable to men. Seems quite manipulative.”
The Last of Us, which stars Pedro Pascal as Joel and Bella Ramsey as Ellie, has already been picked up for a second season.