Ellie and Dina from The Last of Us Part II
Image via Naughty Dog

Here are 5 actresses that could play Dina in season two of ‘The Last of Us’

Looks? Check. Talent? Check.

HBO’s The Last of Us series, based on the wildly popular PlayStation game of the same name from Naughty Dog, premiered on January 15 with “When You’re Lost in the Darkness.” Launching with a 99 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, showrunner Craig Mazin and Naughty Dog Co-President Neil Druckmann’s live-action adaptation seemed to be a hit with the crowd, who were understandably skeptical as to whether or not theirs would be a faithful rendition of the critically acclaimed franchise. The series has been successful indeed, with a second season on the way.

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Credit for the success of The Last of Us is due, in part, to the phenomenal casting choices. Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey were cast as Joel and Ellie, respectively. Initially, candidates for the role of Ellie — such as Maisie Williams and Kaitlyn Dever — aged out of consideration by the time auditions had commenced. Just in the debut episode, we saw several familiar female faces in Ellie, Sarah, Tess, and Marlene. With a second season on the horizon, one can expect other central females to appear later down the line, specifically Ellie’s rival Abby and love interest Dina.

Speaking of Dina, who’s a crucial element in Ellie’s growth and character arc, there’s been plenty of buzz surrounding her eventual appearance alongside Pascal and Ramsey. In The Last of Us: Part II, Ellie and Dina become romantically involved after the latter ends her relationship with Jesse, who — unbeknownst to all those involved at the time — impregnates her and becomes the biological father of her son, JJ.

While Shannon Woodward is credited with Dina’s motion capture and voice, Cascina Caradonna became the character’s literal ‘face’ after lending her distinctive features to her in-game model. The character might have certain characteristics such as possibly being a young woman of color – though that’s not exactly confirmed. However, Dina does have an Israeli background in the original storyline.

But who could star alongside Ramsey in a live-action take on Dina? Let’s take a look at some potential choices.

Isabela Merced

At only 22 years of age, actress and singer Isabela Merced could be a great choice. She has appeared in Transformers: The Last Knight and in the title role of Nickelodeon‘s Dora and the Lost City of Gold. Merced also appeared in Sicario: Day of the Soldado, and with Jason Momoa in Netflix’s Sweet Girl. She’s certainly made her place so far in the industry.

She’s got a wonderful reputation in show business, pushing for opportunities that would allow Latina actresses like herself to succeed. With that said, her heritage could in a similar fashion, call out to Dina’s additional Mexican background which would make Merced’s potential casting very sensible.

Anna Cathcart

Canadian actress Anna Cathcart gained worldwide fame for portraying Kitty Covey in Netflix‘s To All the Boys franchise. She also had a turn as Dizzy Tremaine, daughter of Drizella Tremaine and granddaughter of Lady Tremaine, in Disney’s Descendants 2 and its sequel, Descendants 3. Before kick-starting her acting career, Cathcart would appear in commercials for companies such as Crayola and Campbell’s Soup.

Cathcart identifies herself as “half Chinese and half Irish,” so there’s an opportunity to further expand The Last of Us‘ ethnic diversity, especially as Marlene’s actress, Merle Dandridge, comes from half Asian, half African-American descent. Likewise, Riley’s actress, Storm Reid, is African American. Otherwise, on a visual basis, Cathcart looks the part, so there’s no fear of backlash, such as that succeeding Bella Ramsey’s casting.

Paolina van Kleef

Paolina van Kleef in The Last of Us (2023)
Image via IMDB

Paolina van Kleef is another Canadian actress worth considering for the role of Dina. She most recently appeared in the Netflix action-drama The Night Agent and has also appeared in a 2018 short film titled, Yasmina.

However, van Kleef has also made a small appearance in The Last of Us, as a girl only seen staring at Ellie while in the Jackson settlement. For those who don’t know, Dina actually is from the Jackson settlement, according to the canonical source material of the video game. This could certainly mean something when it comes to making the anticipated choice of who plays Dina.

Cascina Caradonna

It’s the most obvious choice of them all. There’s no denying that Caradonna looks like Dina… because she is Dina. It might be Dina’s voice that we associate the most with her mannerisms and personality, but there’s significance to her face, as well, which is instantly recognizable — even for a side character. She’s a social media personality, actress, and model, but she’s yet to have her breakout role.

Nevertheless, Dina was modeled in her likeness, so that credit alone skyrocketed her following on Instagram and Twitter, plus allowing her to make her face known to the world literally. There isn’t much more to say about Caradonna other than the fact that she’s the living, breaking embodiment of Dina herself. And, she’s expressed multiple times in various videos/streams that she’d love to star as Dina in live-action, so that’s her ticket in.

Ariana Greenblatt

Quite young at 16, Ariana Greenblatt has a considerably good resume, definitely good enough for strong consideration, despite her age. Nearly everyone has seen her Young Gamora in Avengers: Infinity War. She was first noticed as Daphne in the Disney Channel comedy television series Stuck in the Middle, but also appeared as Young Ahsoka Tano in Disney Plus’ Ahsoka, and also in the mega-hit Barbie (2023). She has been recently named as part of Elle Magazine’s “Hollywood Rising” 2023 list, as well.

But get this though, Greenblatt is slated to appear next summer in another very popular video game adaptation, Borderlands. Perhaps there wouldn’t be a potential conflict of interest if the opportunity to offer her the role came around. If she were to be cast in the role, she does have at least a little resemblance to Dina and with her acting prowess, it could be a great match.

For now, we can only speculate, but here’s hoping that the next season is closely approaching, so we’re not left wondering for too long.


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