‘The Last of Us’ star Melanie Lynskey rejects rude criticism of her body

Don’t come for Melanie Lynskey on Twitter, because she will make you look foolish. 

The actress, an Emmy nominee last year for “Yellowjackets,” eloquently responded to criticism of her physical appearance in a series of tweets that fought rudeness with reason.

On “The Last of Us,” HBO’s hit postapocalyptic drama, Lynskey plays Kathleen, the hardened leader of a resistance group that freed Kansas City from military rule. But according to former “America’s Next Top Model” winner and prolific social media presence Adrianne Curry, Lynskey isn’t physically fit enough to be believable in the role. 

“Her body says life of luxury… not post apocolyptic [sic] warlord,” Curry wrote in a since-deleted tweet alongside a photo of Lynskey from a recent InStyle cover story. “Where is Linda Hamilton when you need her?” (Hamilton played svelte resistance fighter Sarah Connor in the “Terminator” movies.) 

Lynskey responded with a cheeky tweet putting Curry in her place. “I’m playing a person who meticulously planned & executed an overthrow of FEDRA,” Lynskey wrote, referring to the name of the military organization she fought on the show. “I am supposed to be SMART, ma’am. I don’t need to be muscly. That’s what henchmen are for.”

Lynskey followed up with a tweet thread expanding upon what the role means to her. She wrote that the thing that excited her most about “The Last of Us,” besides the opportunity to work with the show’s creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann, was that her casting “suggested the possibility of a future in which people start listening to the person with the best ideas. Not the coolest or the toughest person. The organizer. The person who knows where everything is. The person who is doing the planning. The person who can multitask. The one who’s decisive.”

She noted that women, especially ones in leadership positions, are constantly scrutinized and criticized for a variety of factors including their appearance which has nothing to do with their effectiveness as a leader. Her character is someone who was not meant to be a leader but was thrust into it due to circumstances. She ended up being very successful because of her mental acuity and ability to make hard decisions, qualities that are unrelated to her physical body. 

“I wanted her to look like she should have a notepad on her at all times,” Lynskey wrote. “I wanted her to be feminine, and soft-voiced, and all the things that we’ve been told are ‘weak’. Because honestly, f— that.”

She likes that her presence on “The Last of Us” bothers people like Curry. “I understand that some people are mad that I’m not the typical casting for this role. That’s thrilling to me,” she wrote. “Other than the moments after action is called, when you feel like you’re actually in someone else’s body, the most exciting part of my job is subverting expectations.” 

“I’m so grateful to Craig and Neil for creating a truly new character,” she wrote. “Someone I have never seen before. And for trusting me with her. And for letting me be on THE MOST AMAZING SHOW.” 

After getting dunked on, Curry deleted her tweet and posted a response of her own. “Next up, Jason Mamoa [sic] will find my criticism of his portrayal of AQUAMAN and will put me in my place with a strongly worded tweet on why he IS the perfect Arthur Curry,” she wrote. 

“The Last of Us” Episode 5 will be released on Friday, Feb. 10 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO Max. 

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