Isabela Merced Will Play Ellie’s Love Interest in Season Two of The Last of Us


We might have to wait until 2025 for the next season of The Last of Us, but at least we now know who to look forward to. HBO has announced the casting of another fan-favorite character: Dina, a.k.a. Ellie’s love interest.

Dina will be played by Isabela Merced, as Deadline reported Thursday. The actor has appeared in the Nickelodeon series 100 Things to Do Before High School and Dora and Friends: Into the City!, and she’s set to star in the forthcoming adaptation of John Green’s novel, Turtles All the Way Down. She also was in the 2022 Shakespearean comedy Rosaline with fellow TLOU season two addition Kaitlyn Dever.

In a statement to Deadline, Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann, who write and direct the show, called Dina “warm, brilliant, wild, funny, moral, dangerous, and instantly lovable.”

A character description obtained by Entertainment Weekly also described Dina as “a free-wheeling spirit whose devotion to Ellie will be tested by the brutality of the world they inhabit.”

“You can search forever for an actor who effortlessly embodies all of those things, or you can find Isabela Merced right away,” they said. “We couldn’t be prouder to have her join our family.”

In a Thursday Instagram post, Merced shared a screencap of an article about her casting, captioning it with, “This is very crazy/cool!!” She also shared the news to her story, writing, “let the love story begin…”

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The news of Merced’s casting comes shortly after HBO announced that Katilyn Dever would be playing Abby, another queer fan fave from the video game The Last of Us Part II. Young Mazino was also cast as Jesse, Ellie’s friend from the video game, and Dina’s ex. Production on season two of the hit show is starting this spring, and the season is scheduled to premiere in early 2025.

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