The Last of Us viewers praise show for casting Indonesian actors in Jakarta-set scene

Viewers of The Last of Us are praising the second episode for its opening set in Indonesia.

The HBO video game adaptation continued on Sunday (22 January), catching up with Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Tess (Anna Torv) as they transport the teenage Ellie (Bella Ramsay) on a dangerous mission across a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Each episode so far has featured a flashback, which takes place 20 years before the fall of civilisation that is triggered by the spreading of a brain-infecting fungus called Cordyceps.

Episode two opened in Jakarta, Indonesia, and saw an expert in the study of fungi learn of the outbreak. Chillingly, after discovering details of the outbreak, she tells an Indonesian military officer that there is no vaccine and her advice is to bomb the entire city.

Indonesian viewers are heaping praise on the show for casting Indonesian actors Christine Hakam and Yayu AW Unru in these roles, as well as for the correct usage of the Indonesian language.

Many have expressed happiness at seeing these actors on screen, with one viewer, @yogapunyatwiter, writing: “As a big fan of the game The Last of Us, I am quite proud of the name Jakarta, Indonesia and several actors involved in this series.”

Entertainment site @Ramasscreen added: “So cool that my homeland Jakarta, Indonesia was featured on tonight’s The Last of Us episode 2. And Indonesian legend Christine Hakim play a mycologist was also awesome! Thanks for making us Indos proud, Christine! Congrats!”

Meanwhile, @stereopic wrote: “As an Indonesian, I commend HBO for casting actual Indo actors for The Last of Us episode 2. The language captions were also spot on.

“Often times when a show or a movie is set in ‘Jakarta, Indonesia,’ they'd cast Pinoy or Thai actors to play Indo characters. But kudos to HBO.”

The Last of Us’ casting director is Victoria Thomas. The series has been created by Chernobyl’s Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann, who created the video game the series is based on.

Yayu AW Unru in ‘The Last of Us’ episode two (HBO)
Yayu AW Unru in ‘The Last of Us’ episode two (HBO)

Episode two is available to watch in the UK on Sky Atlantic and NOW, with the third episode available to watch next Sunday (5 February).