Isabela Merced has opened up about filming the second season of The Last of Us. 

Spoilers ahead

Last month, it was announced that the Madame Web star was set to join the HBO adaptation of the popular game series as Dina.  

The beloved character was first introduced in The Last of Us Part II video game and played a significant role as a love interest in Ellie’s (Bella Ramsey) multi-layered storyline.  

In a statement, series creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann gave insight into their casting decision and why Merced was perfect for the role.

“Dina is warm, brilliant, wild, funny, moral, dangerous, and instantly lovable,” they said. 

“You can search forever for an actor who effortlessly embodies all of those things, or you can find Isabela Merced right away. We couldn’t be prouder to have her join our family.” 

While information about the new batch of episodes has been kept under wraps, Merced recently shared a few behind-the-scenes details with ET about her time onset, including her electric chemistry with Ramsey. 

“I’m beyond; I already did one day of shooting; it was technically day 0, but the chemistry that Bella [Ramsey] and I have is so palpable, and it’s really nice to be able to work with someone like that,” she explained. 

A day before her aforementioned interview, Merced opened up to The Hollywood Reporter about how she prepared for the role, including playing The Last of Us Part II. 

“I had already watched the show, and so I went to my friend’s house, and I played [The Last of Us Part II] all in one weekend on the PS5,” she revealed. 

“It was amazing. I did 25 hours of gameplay. It was wild but so much fun. So I really liked the second game, but I haven’t played the first game yet.” 

In addition to the Instant Family star, The Last of Us season two is set to be jam-packed with new cast members. 

In January, Booksmart star Kaitlyn Dever joined the series as the controversial character Abby Anderson. 

“Our casting process for season two has been identical to season one: we look for world-class actors who embody the souls of the characters in the source material,” Mazin and Druckmann explained in another joint press release.

“Nothing matters more than talent, and we’re thrilled to have an acclaimed performer like Kaitlyn join Pedro, Bella, and the rest of our family.”

Weeks later, Variety reported that Beetlejuice star Catherine O’Hara had joined the series in an undisclosed role. 

A day before the news was announced, O’Hara hinted at her casting when a fan inquired about it on Watch What Happens Live! with Andy Cohen. 

“How do you know these things? It’s in discussion… yeah,” she said.

Lastly, Beef star Young Mazino is set to star in The Last of Us season two as Jesse, Dina’s ex-boyfriend and Ellie’s close ally.