British actress Bella Ramsey used curse words to master an American accent.
The “Last of Us” actress and “Game of Thrones” alum revealed during “The Late Late Show with James Corden” that it was key swear words that helped her transform into post-apocalyptic video game character Ellie for the upcoming sci-fi series.
“I had a dialect coach which was helpful,” Ramsey said of her American accent for the role. “The first phrase I mastered was ‘olive oil.’ It’s really hard, like, ‘olive oil.'”
The next word Ramsey learned to say sans British accent was a curse word bleeped out on the “Late Late Show” broadcast. The Leicestershire, England-born star was praised by fellow interviewee Regina Hall, who said “that’s really all you need” in terms of knowing American phrases.
Ramsey continued, “Yeah, because the character that I play in this show, ‘The Last of Us,’ Ellie, curses every two seconds. So that was definitely important. There are so many [curse words].”
The “Catherine Called Birdy” star previously told CBR.com that Ellie’s R-rated lexicon is what helps her relate to the role.
“A great portion of my relatability to Ellie has to do with her love of puns and her love of cursing,” Ramsey said. “Ellie actually taught me to curse and taught me how to do it well.”
Ramsey and “The Last of Us” co-star Pedro Pascal also addressed the fan backlash to their respective castings, with Ramsey admitting she had to mute her social media comments.
IndieWire’s Ben Travers applauded Ramsey’s turn in the role, writing in his review that she is “outstanding” alongside Pascal as a teen on the run.
“The new drama is better than every video game adaptation that comes to mind, and it is a top-tier, often terrifying zombie adventure,” Travers wrote. “It’s also attuned to the present, outlining and exploring fears related to life with COVID-19 in ways unmistakable to anyone who’s been conscious the last few years. But to relegate ‘The Last of Us’ to any predetermined genre, any preset box, or any fixed period of time is to do a disservice to the weighty and widely applicable themes wrestled with throughout.”