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It’s hard to believe anyone starting their professional acting career on Game of Thrones at the tender age of 10, but Bella Ramsey did just that.
The 19-year-old actress - who was born in Nottingham, England, and attended a local Stagecoach Theatre Arts from the age of four - has been delivering scene-stealing performances since she debuted in the blockbuster fantasy series in 2016.
Bella Ramsey star alongside fellow Games of Thrones alum Pedro Pascal in another mega HBO series. This time it's The Last of Us - the TV adaptation of the video game - which is available on Sky Atlantic and streaming service NOW.
As of 2018, Ramsey has also voiced the title character in the Netflix animated series Hilda, and she's also set to voice the character Molly in Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget, which is set for release later in 2023.
Here, we round up Bella Ramsey’s top 5 TV shows and movies - and where you might recognise her from…
Bella Ramsey’s best TV shows and movies:
Bella Ramsey’s biggest role of the year is in The Last of Us, the HBO adaptation of the critically acclaimed video game of the same name. It’s from the makers of Chernobyl.
Ramsey plays the lead role of Ellie alongside Pedro Pascal, who plays smuggler Joel. Her casting as Ellie has been praised thus far by crtiics, with Stephen Kelly from BBC Culture applauding her performance.
“The show essentially lives or dies on the casting of Ellie, who is as playful and profane as she is endearingly obnoxious. Thankfully Bella Ramsey… steals every scene she is in," he wrote.
Alan Sepinwall from Rolling Stone agreed, writing that Ramsey “carries a metric ton of emotional weight without any apparent effort, but also brings a lot of lightness to what could be an oppressively grim story.”
Ramsey will officially return as Ellie for The Last of Us season 2, which jumps ahead five years from the ending of The Last of Us season 1.
The crew won't have to "age up" the actress too much, as Ellie is 19 in season 2 - which is how old Ramsey is now (she was 17 when she played 14-year-old Ellie in season 1).
The show's co-creator Craig Mazin also responded to some criticism of Ramsey's casting. He said: “People were like, ‘She doesn’t look like the character [from the video game].’
"It doesn’t matter. Just watch what happens,” he told Variety. "We are making it [season 2] with Bella.”
Catch up with The Last of Us on Sky Atlantic with NOW.
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All about Ellie: Bella Ramsey's best TV shows and movies in spotlight
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At the tender age of 10, Bella Ramsey landed her first acting job in what is lauded as one of the greatest TV shows of all time - HBO’s fantasy series, Game of Thrones.
The child star played the fierce and outspoken head of House Mormont of Bear Island, Lyanna Mormont, in seasons 6-8. She was swiftly named one of the show’s “favourite characters” following her entrance to the series in 2019.
In an interview with Teen Vogue, Game of Thrones co-showrunner D.B. Weiss revealed that Lyanna was only ever meant to be in one scene, not a prominent supporting character for multiple seasons.
"Lyanna Mormont was supposed to be a one-scene character, and then we met Bella Ramsey and we realised that we would not be doing our jobs if we kept her as a one-scene character," Weiss explained.
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In one of her most high-profile movie appearances to date, Bella Ramsey played the role of Birdy in the 2022 film Catherine Called Birdy, adapted by Lena Dunham from the children's book of the same name.
Catherine Called Birdy follows the adventures of a teenage girl in Medieval England (Birdy) as she navigates through life and tries to avoid the arranged marriages her father maps out for her.
Ramsey starred alongside Billie Piper, Andrew Scott, Joe Alwyn and Dean-Charles Chapman in the lighthearted British historical film, which became Dunham’s long-time passion project after she read the book and fell in love with it as a child.
Ramsey’s performance as Birdy was universally critically-acclaimed. Vulture's Film Critic Alison Willmore called her “a wonderfully rambunctious presence who bulldozes her way over everyone she shares the screen with” while Adrian Horton from The Guardian praised Ramsey's “refreshing” portrayal of the teen heroine: “She is impossible not to root for.”
Stream Catherine Called Birdy on Prime Video.
4. The Worst Witch - Mildred Hubble (2017)
In 2017, Bella Ramsey was introduced as the new Mildred Hubble, the titular character of The Worst Witch series.
Ahead of the release of The Worst Witch, Ramsey called herself "so similar" to Mildred and described the moment she was cast in the show: “When we got the phone call I was with my mum, sister, cousin and auntie, there was a lot of screaming and excited jumping.
“You could have filled a bathtub with the proud teardrops!”
Ramsey’s lead performance in the CBBC series - which is based on Jill Murphy's 1974 novel series of the same name - saw Ramsey win the Young Performer award at the 2019 British Academy Children's Awards.
She played the character for three seasons, before announcing on Instagram that she had left the series in 2020 due to mental health issues.
The Worst Witch seasons 1-4 are streaming on BBC iPlayer and Netflix.
5. Becoming Elizabeth - Jane Grey (2022)
Bella Ramsey portrayed Lady Jane Grey in Becoming Elizabeth, the historical drama series exploring the origin story of young Elizabeth Tudor, which was released in 2022.
The character of Lady Jane is brought under the wing of Catherine Parr (Jessica Raine) and Thomas Seymour (Tom Cullen), as part of their and her father’s plan to marry her to King Edward VI (Oliver Zetterström).
Speaking to Screen Rant, Ramsey revealed that her favourite aspect of filming Becoming Elizabeth was working with the ensemble cast.
She said: “We all got along so well. I've never been part of a really big ensemble, other than Game of Thrones - but obviously I was a lot younger then, and I still was very shy. I was the new kid, I suppose.
“But for this one, it definitely felt like we were all coming in as equals for season 1… It was very much everyone coming in and having the best time on the show together.”
Stream Becoming Elizabeth on Lionsgate+ via Prime Video.
Lionsgate+ subscription required.
The Last of Us image credits: © 2023 Home Box Office, Inc. All rights reserved. HBO® and all related programs are the property of Home Box Office, Inc.
Game of Thrones image credits: © 2019 Home Box Office, Inc. All rights reserved. HBO® and all related programs are the property of Home Box Office, Inc.