“Dina is warm, brilliant, wild, funny, moral, dangerous and instantly lovable,” said series co-creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann. “You can search forever for an actor who effortlessly embodies all of those things, or you can find Isabela Merced right away. We couldn’t be prouder to have her join our family.”
Dina is described as “a free-wheeling spirit whose devotion to Ellie will be tested by the brutality of the world they inhabit.”
Merced has starred in a number of films in recent years, including “Rosaline” alongside Dever. Her other film credits include the title role in the live-action feature “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” as well as “Instant Family” with Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne, the “Father of the Bride” remake at Max, “Sicario: Day of the Soldado,” and “Transformers: The Last Knight.” She also has a number of high-profile film roles on the horizon, including playing Hawkgirl in “Superman: Legacy,” a role in “Alien: Romulus,” and a starring role in “Madame Web.”
She is repped by CAA and Peikoff Mahan.
“The Last of Us” is based on the hit video game of the same name created by Druckmann and developed by Naughty Dog. The official description states “the story takes place twenty years after modern civilization has been destroyed. Joel (Pedro Pascal), a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie (Bella Ramsey), a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal, heartbreaking journey, as they both must traverse the U.S. and depend on each other for survival.”
The cast for Season 1 also included Gabriel Luna, Anna Torv, Nico Parker, Murray Bartlett, Nick Offerman, Melanie Lynskey, Storm Reid, Merle Dandridge, Jeffrey Pierce, Lamar Johnson, Keivonn Woodard, Graham Greene, Elaine Miles, Ashley Johnson, and Troy Baker.
Season 1 of the series was written and executive produced by Mazin and Druckmann. Both have also directed episodes of the show. Carolyn Strauss and Evan Wells, president of Naughty Dog, executive produce along with PlayStation Productions’ Asad Qizilbash and Carter Swan as well as Rose Lam. The series is a co-production between HBO and Sony Pictures Television. PlayStation Productions, Word Games, The Mighty Mint, and Naughty Dog produce.
“The Last of Us” proved to be a massive hit with both critics and audiences. In addition to stellar viewership, the show received multiple awards nominations for its first season. It received three Golden Globe nominations as well as 25 Emmy nominations. While the Primetime Emmy Awards are due to take place on Jan. 15, the show has already won eight Emmys at the Creative Arts Emmys. That includes wins for both Offerman and Reid for best guest actor and actress in a drama series respectively.