10 Actors Who Could Play Jesse in Last of Us Season 2
Think I’d let you do this on your own?
HBO’s The Last of Us has set the bar for video game adaptations with its meticulous re-imagination of scenes and characters from the beloved series. Now that the first season has reached its epic conclusion, it’s time to gear up for the next Infected fight with a new cast of characters, key among them being Abby, Dina, and Jesse.
Although Jesse’s role was relatively minor compared to others, his compelling storyline and kind-hearted personality truly captivated players; establishing a dedicated fanbase where many consider him their absolute favorite. But now, the question remains: Who can take on the mantle of this incredibly loyal and courageous friend? Here are our picks for 10 actors who could play Jesse in HBO’s The Last of Us Season 2.
Ross Butler has certainly made a name for himself over the years, from his outstanding performances in the To All the Boys movie franchise to his heroic debut in Shazam!
Yet, out of all these characters, his part of Zach Dempsey in 13 Reasons Why makes him an excellent candidate for Jesse in the next season of The Last of Us. He offered a mesmerizing turn in the role by portraying someone who was both a benevolent friend and a complex human being with their own struggles and issues to grapple with.
Since Jesse is known for being a humane individual, Butler could expand on it with his portrayal of emotions that truly make you feel like he would do anything for his companions. He could also excel in the Last of Us’ tense moments as the actor has done in the past with various petrifying scenes.
Mackenyu’s notoriety has been on the rise as he branches out into new roles, including Roronoa Zoro in One Piece and Seiya in Knights of the Zodiac.
With each project, he continues to charm both the audience and castmates, given that many have praised him for his willingness to stay in character. Considering the multiple action sequences of the Last of Us, Mackenyu would likewise be perfect for Jesse due to his history of numerous adventurous films and TV shows.
The actor also knows how to express his compassionate side, especially with his breakout role in Chihayafuru. Mackenyu could unify these two aspects to fit Jesse’s persona of being the caring, valiant ally to Ellie and others.
Longtime Grey’s Anatomy veteran, Alex Landi, introduced fans to the first Asian male surgeon of the show, who was likewise one of the only openly gay characters.
Those who watch the series can see the actor’s extraordinary talents through his vulnerability and sincerity in each scene, which would pair well with all the meaningful interactions between Jesse, Dina, and Ellie. Additionally, Landi has further developed his acting career with dramatic roles, a key factor that drives the Last of Us’ riveting storyline.
Justin H. Min
Out of all the potential actors for Jesse, numerous Reddit users have petitioned Justin H. Min, who is known for his iconic character Ben Hargreeves from Umbrella Academy.
Every time Ben and Klaus are together, you know you’re in for a wild ride, partly due to the actor’s ability to commit to any role and express a variety of tones and emotions. One minute, he could be bouncing barbs and jabs off of another character with a razor-sharp tongue. The next, he could be spilling his heart out in a way that is both disarming and impactful.
As a result, many fans have grown to love the character with each passing episode, and the same thing could happen again if he takes on the part of Jesse. It would also be interesting to see him tackle a more dramatic role, as doing so may allow him to present the full breadth of his talents.
Instead of searching around for the perfect Jesse, why not use the actual face model Jasper Jeon?
He already has the looks to play the character and the acting chops to back it up, with other acting credits including the Silent Sea, Hellbound, and Big Bet. To top it off, he clearly has a deep love for the character, as shown by the fact that he’s played through the Last of Us Part 2 several times via live streams. These factors would give him an unparalleled knowledge that he could portray the character accurately with.
Simu Liu has been around the block regarding his successful acting career, with some of his best-known roles being found in the upcoming Barbie movie, Kim’s Convenience, and the lead role in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
However, even if he plays a minor part like Garbage Boy in Nora from Queens, he can steal the show with his magnetic personality. This would make him an ideal fit for Jesse, and would ensure the character can shine no matter how brief his time on screen is.
As a bonus, Liu knows his fair share of action sequences, as we’ve seen in the legendary bus fight in his latest Marvel movie. Jesse is also a part of a thrilling car chase, and therefore the actor could use his experience to his advantage to make this moment more hair-raising.
Many fans on various forums have suggested that an up-and-coming actor would be best for the role of Jesse in HBO’s The Last of Us Season 2, so a rising star like Young Mazino would be excellent for the part.
He is set to star in Netflix’s comedy-drama TV series Beef alongside Steven Yuen. While some have wanted Yuen to play Jesse based on his time in a dystopian Walking Dead world, it would be a bit of a stretch to cast him given that the actor is practically double the age of the character.
That’s why Mazino seems like a better fit. He’s more in line with Jesse’s age and physical characteristics, and his acting credentials in multiple shorts and TV shows prove he’s got the necessary experience. Even if you aren’t familiar with his work, casting an “unknown” actor could be beneficial since it gives the audience more of a chance to grow with them, as mentioned by Reddit user kendog1005.
If you’ve watched Amazon Prime Video’s The Summer I Turned Pretty original series, you’ll undoubtedly remember Sean Kuffman’s endearing performance as Steven.
We’ve seen him make an impressionable debut as the main protagonist’s caring, protective brother, which portray the same vigilant qualities that Jesse has for Ellie, Dina, and the rest of Jackson City. Because of this, he could play the part by incorporating those brotherly instincts into the character, and lend a more visibly compassionate appeal to the character in most any scene.
Dallas Liu is starting to make his mark in the industry with his upcoming role as the famous Prince Zuko in the live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender. His career began in the 2009 Tekken film as the young Jin Kazama, expanding into more significant parts with PEN15 and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
In view of all his experience in action movies and TV shows, Liu could work well for the Last of Us’ intense scenes, as well as go along with Jesse’s younger age. He’d likewise still fit into the aforementioned mold of being a lesser-known actor, allowing audiences to fully embrace him as Jesse without the baggage that comes from knowing him through other roles.
Ki Hong Lee
Ki Hong Lee has proven his worth as an actor in numerous films and television series, such as the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the Maze Runner franchise, and Wish Upon.
Given that he already has some experience in a post-apocalyptic universe with Maze Runner, he should have no problem diving into the infectious saga of the Last of Us. He’d already have the tone and mannerisms of a survivor down to a tee, and could focus his efforts into showing off the different aspects of Jesse’s character. As if that wasn’t enough, Lee also performed the more physically-intensive stunts exceptionally in all three Maze Runner films, solidifying his talents in heavy action-packed narratives.
He likewise has shown his light-hearted side with the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, perfect for Jesse’s good nature. Like many others on this list, it’s all about finding someone who can transcend in both the perilous action and calm moments of the series, and Lee is undoubtedly a top contender for the part.
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