Mean dog The last of us and The Last of Us Part 2 have been widely loved and praised by many gamers, and the franchise has been one of the most successful of the decade. The number of awards the two games have won over time is incredible, but such popularity can also lead to much criticism on both valid points regarding the weak points of the series and also on the portrayal offered by the franchise. This happened with The Last of Us Part 2, in particular, and many players ended up disliking the way Abby and Lev were portrayed due to the former’s body type and the latter’s gender identity.
Tomorrow, a short film made by fans on The Last of Us Part 2 comes out, and the director and cast have shared their thoughts on Abby, but also other franchises and how they present unrealistic body standards. The short is directed by a videographer named Marco Ritelli, and the cast includes four cosplayers-turned-actors for this project, including Virginia This (Ellie), Rita Grieco (Dina), Alessia Grassi (Abby) and Amelia Falco (Lev). . Game Rant spoke with them about what it means to deal with the consequences of unrealistic portrayal of the bodies of video game characters, and, in particular, all the criticism of Abby.
Abby and unrealistic body standards from The Last of Us Part 2
Because Grassi was already a part of the HotGarbageTeam, along with all the other actors, she was not new to cosplay because The Last of Us Part 2‘s Abby before diving into the fan-made movie. On the contrary, photos of the whole team were shared by Naughty Dog on social media and by Neil Druckmann himself over time, which confirmed the fact that they did an amazing job and that they are finally reaping the rewards of their hard work. Grassi felt that Abby was the perfect character for her, as they share many character traits that the cosplayer described during the interview.
Training can be a way to let off steam. It can be a way of thinking that you are recovering from something when you really are not. Training is often an outlet for what you have inside. Abby appears to be a strong woman, emotionally, but she’s also a very sensitive person.
Grassi’s bond with Abby runs deep and stems from the fact that they are both people who train their bodies to appear and be actually strong, and even show themselves at times. According to Grassi, this happens because the world, both the real world and that of The Last of Us Part 2– does not accept weaknesses, so it is easier to hide how sensitive one can really be inside by having a tough facade. She also believes that Abby has received a lot of undeserved reviews for her looks and build, while it’s perfectly natural for women to have a more masculine body type.
The speech on Abby sparked a discussion of all the criticisms that were God of War: Ragnarok‘s Thor, and how unrealistic body standards damage the image of fictional characters and real people. The cast explained how Thor is much better portrayed in the upcoming God of the war game than it has ever been in the Marvel movies, although the latter has contributed to Thor’s overall image as a muscular dude with a chiseled physique. Grieco commented on how disappointed she was with the casting of Cat Woman and how it affects movies, TV shows and video games on a deeper level.
Abby isn’t right because she’s too muscular. Thor is wrong because he has a stomach. Aloy is not right because she has a double chin. So what? […] Some characters are written or designed in a very specific way, but the actors who play them are then completely different from them.
Ritelli suggested that some of the hate could come from people who are generally unhappy with the game, and how that fact can lead to criticism or negative reviews. Yet unrealistic body standards are a problem in many modern societies, and The Last of Us Part 2 doing everything possible to be as inclusive as possible was amazing. This is also what the fan short aims to do, and it is something that all actors firmly believe in.
The Last of Us Part 2 Fan Movie releases September 26.
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