Somewhere between agonizing over The Last of Us ending, which aired on HBO last week, for the second time in the game franchise’s history and ideating a jacked Abby, fans stumbled upon Ellie actor Bella Ramsey’s YouTube channel. Or should I say, as many others are saying, Ramsey’s Christian YouTube channel, which is unintentionally getting people excited for The Last of Us’ season two.
Ramsey, who identifies as nonbinary and uses all pronouns, has said in the past that faith helped pull them out of a battle with anorexia, and credited it as “such a massive part of [their] life” when they were baptized in 2018.
Her YouTube channel, titled United Hope, operated briefly two years ago but productively; Ramsey posted 119 videos of them untangling the gospel, providing sunny motivational speeches, and singing worship songs. Many of the videos appear undiscovered or unnoticed, remaining under one thousand views, but some acoustic covers have been getting passed around over the last year of TLoU buzz, with one of the (controversial, but perhaps unbeknownst to British actor Ramsey) Hillsong Church’s song “Oceans” hitting over a million and a half views as of writing.
“Good to know she’s keeping faith during hard times,” one recent top comment says, “especially when there’s a fungus infected [sic] people around.”
Christianity, like many religions, has a complicated history, one that’s almost cartoonish at times in the U.S., where it flows in a strange, diluted form throughout predatory megachurches, televangelists, and those floppy hats mommy vloggers in Utah like to wear. As Ramsey’s channel becomes more known, I feel like U.S. fans are getting weirdly fixated on Ramsey’s faith, but for the most part, everyone commenting simply seems glad to see Ellie with a guitar.
“They HAVE TO let her play and sing in the show for real,” another top comment says, no doubt recalling all the acoustic guitar scenes featured in The Last of Us Part II. “They have picked the right girl for Ellie,” another upvoted comment says. “She can already play guitar and can sing. I’m just waiting for season 2 and Ellie singing ‘Take On Me’.”
“I thought she was a perfect casting, but then I saw this and I was like.. she’s more than perfect, she was born for the Ellie role,” another popular comment echoes.
Ramsey told The New York Times in January that her current relationship to her faith is “a lot quieter” than it was before, but it’s still around. Secular fans are likely hoping the same is true for her guitar skills.