Torv takes the role of Tess, a pivotal part from the original games.

By Nick Romano
July 22, 2021 at 01:30 PM EDT
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Since Mindhunter is pretty much caput for the time being at Netflix, we at least get to see one of its standout performers, Anna Torv, in a new capacity.

Torv has been cast in HBO's The Last of Us in a recurring guest star role, and it's one that gamers know very well. The Fringe alum will play Tess, who's described as a smuggler and hardened survivor in a post-pandemic world.

The drama series' first season largely adapts the events of the 2013 fast-selling video game The Last of Us, in which Tess plays a pivotal role. Set years after a fungal plague wiped out much of humanity, transforming most into vicious zombie-like monsters, the story follows Joel, who's living in a militarized quarantine zone. He has a close relationship with Tess, who operates in the black market of this community. Together, they've become known by the local criminal underworld for their ruthlessness.

On a mission to reclaim their stolen guns, they run into the leader of the Fireflies, a resistance group, who tasks them with smuggling a young girl named Ellie out of the zone. This mission soon becomes much more than they were prepared for. It's unclear at this point how this backstory will translate into the show.

Anna Torv, The Last of Us
Anna Torv joins HBO's 'The Last of Us' as Tess.
| Credit: Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage; Naughty Dog

The Mandalorian's Pedro Pascal stars in The Last of Us series as Joel, opposite his Game of Thrones costar Bella Ramsey as Ellie.

Torv is also joining Gabriel Luna (Terminator: Dark Fate) as Joel's younger brother Tommy; Merle Dandridge as Fireflies leader Marlene, a role she also voiced in the Last of Us and The Last of Us Part II games; Nico Parker as Joel's 14-year-old daughter Sarah; Murray Bartlett (The White Lotus) as Frank and Con O'Neill (Chernobyl) as Bill, two survivalists living alone in their own isolated town; and Jeffrey Pierce, the voice of Tommy in the games, as a rebel named Perry.

Since Mindhunter, which fizzled out after two seasons, Torv went on to star on the Australian drama series The Newsreader. Mindhunter's David Fincher said a third season "probably" isn't happening after voicing his exhaustion from filming the first two. Netflix, however, is leaving the door open should he want to revisit in the future.

Meanwhile, The Last of Us has quickly become one of the more anticipated television projects, given the vast popularity of the original award-winning games. Neil Druckmann, the creative director of Naughty Dog, which developed the games, is aboard as an executive producer with Chernobyl duo Craig Mazin and Carolyn Strauss.

Kantemir Balagov directs the pilot episode, which will start principal photography soon in Alberta, Canada. Other directors include Jasmila Žbanić and Ali Abbasi.

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