Lynskey’s natural warmth is a quality that works to her benefit in “The Last of Us,” as she gives off the air of someone who may have been really nice an apocalypse ago. Now, though, she’s fed up, and savvy enough to do something about it. When she speaks to her second-in-command, Perry (Jeffrey Pierce), it’s with the sort of confident, calm derision that leaves a person too scared to snap back. “He’s not my seventh priority, Perry,” she says when he suggests a roundabout plan to track down the boy she blames for the death of her brother. Later, she meets his update on the hunt with an oddly endearing understatement: “We’re not doin’ so good.” Kathleen is the definition of no-nonsense.
Ahead of this week’s episode of the show, Lynskey shared some of her insights into the character on Twitter, in a thread that acknowledged criticism that she is, as she says, “not the typical casting for this role”:
“I was excited at the idea of playing a woman who had, in a desperate and tragic time, jumped into a role she had never planned on having and nobody else had planned on her having, and then she actually got s**t done.”
The actress wrote that she found the role exciting because her casting “suggested the possibility of a future in which people start listening to the person with the best ideas.” As she points out, women in leadership positions come under fire for every aspect of their being, from the tone and volume of their voices to the way they convey their emotions to the level of effort they put into their appearance. “I wanted her to be feminine, and soft-voiced, and all the things that we’ve been told are ‘weak,'” Lynskey wrote.