The The Last of Us director’s wartime experience helped portray Jackson

The latest episode of HBO The last of us introduces the audience to a version of Jackson, Wyoming from the game’s sequel, The Last of Us: Part II. For director Jasmila Žbanić, this involved drawing on her own real-life experiences.

Speaking to Variety, Žbanić, who directed Season 1 Episode 6 titled “Kin,” said she didn’t actually know anything about the game when she got the job. However, she bought it and played it through before finally looking up videos of the game’s depictions from Jackson, Wyoming, to study the local area.

“When I got the job, I didn’t know anything about the game, so I really needed to educate myself about what it is,” Žbanić said. “I bought the game and tried to play it, and then I watched a lot of YouTube videos of people playing it. I’ve watched the part about my episode a million times. I’ve talked a lot with Neil about the whole vibe of the city and what he had in mind and what’s not there either. There are some elements that Craig added to the whole piece. I also spoke to a lot of players. I always ask, “What do you want to see? What do you expect from the game?” They would say to keep that emotion and atmosphere. Those two things were like a checklist for me. I would check every scene to see if they are there.”

Žbanić, who grew up in Sarajevo, Bosnia, further noted that she actually drew from her real-life experiences of surviving the war in Sarajevo in the ’90s to help build a city like Jackson, grappling with an ongoing struggle concerned but remains a place of humanity.

“I didn’t really talk about it because it came very naturally to me,” Žbanić said. “We talked a lot about surviving the war in Sarajevo in the 90s. I think for Craig and Neil it was interesting that I lived in a place that was like Jackson in a way, because we were surrounded by the Serbian army, we were constantly bombed. We had to be vigilant, we had to survive, we had to learn to live without everything, without civilization. There was no electricity, no food, nothing. But we managed to survive because of the solidarity and the way the city was restructured. You have to start from scratch. For me, this experience was something that I felt very close to Jackson. It’s a community that works and I find it really beautiful and hopeful because I really believe that I’ve survived even the worst of catastrophes, like wars. People are able to keep society. You are not always the enemy of the other. So I was really happy to direct this episode, which really said something that I really believe in.”

The latest episode of The last of us introduced the audience not only to Jackson, but also to Dina, a character who plays a major role in The Last of Us: Part IIand will be a great character when The last of us season 2 finally debuts. The The Last of Us director’s wartime experience helped portray Jackson

Olly Dawes

Olly Dawes is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Olly Dawes joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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