Fan sentiment on The Last of Us Dina’s proposed casting has become divided.
Casting beloved characters from popular franchises always generates debate; however, few potential casting choices have caused more fan disagreement than The Last of Us’ Dina has done.
TLOU season two casting decisions have already sent shockwaves through fandom with news of Abby’s casting; not because this actress doesn’t excel as an actress but simply that certain fans have set expectations of Abby in their heads; similarly with reports suggesting Iman Vellani may take on Dina for season 2.
Vellani appears to be a suitable casting choice. But as some critics have strongly indicated, casting choices must go further than physical similarities alone: as Redditor albumasap notes. “Nope. Casting goes beyond physical similarities; Dina’s Jewish heritage is quite integral to her character,” according to albumasap.
Someone responded by questioning whether this poster understood “how acting works”. While we believe they do understand acting, as pointed out by Ki700 to their critic, given how representation plays such an integral part of modern film, “in today’s environment of representation onscreen it would be seen as quite controversial not casting a Jewish woman to play Dina. While acting is all about taking up roles with integrity,” this line reminds viewers: acting is done so with regard to cultures, ideologies and sexualities being represented within that role being performed by its actors – one could respecting these cultures by portraying roles that respect all aspects involved while fulfilling them a role respectfully by actors assuming roles that respect their culture, ideologys or sexualities being depicted.”
Unfortunately, Reddit users’ opinion regarding whether a Jewish actress should play Dina has led to an unpleasant debate; many seem truly ignorant as to its significance and wanton people have even suggested playing her as someone from within their ethnic background (scarlettvvich suggests an actress from Mizrahi Jewish origin should portray Dina) citing how Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan received authentically ethnic actors portraying them. As with Iman playing Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan she received authentic ethnic actors portrayal, so should Dina also deserve.
The original The Last of Us game remains one of PlayStation players’ most revered exclusives ever created, drawing rave reviews. Given its dedicated fanbase, tensions over who will portray specific roles are bound to rise; until we get official word from HBO about who Abby or Dina might play they must content themselves with fan cast debates until then.