Merle Dandridge, the actress who played Marlene, the leader of the Fireflies, in the first video game of The Last of Us, has been reprising her role in the HBO adaptation. Speaking to IGN, she said that she was emotionally attached to the character, who has had to make terrible decisions for the greater good. Dandridge noted that she was the only actor to reprise her exact role in the series, while others, such as Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson, played different roles. The first season of The Last of Us, which deviated from the game, reunited Johnson and Dandridge, who played Marlene and Anna, the lifelong friend of Ellie’s mother. The scene revealed important context for understanding Marlene’s character and her emotional turmoil. Dandridge also discussed the controversial ending of the game and the difficult decision that Joel had to make.
Merle Dandridge provides fresh insights into Marlene’s character in The Last of Us as she examines the finale of the season.