Ashley Suzanne Johnson (born August 9, 1983) is an American actress and voice actress who is best known for voicing Peter Shepherd in the Jumanji TV Series, Gretchen Grundler in Disney's Recess, Terra in Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go! and Gwen Tennyson in the Ben 10 franchise since Alien Force. She is a two-time BAFTA award-winner for her voice-overs.
Johnson provided the English voice and motion capture for Ellie in The Last of Us due to how she was a "strong and independent character". Neil Druckmann instantly felt she was right for the role, subsequently using her in auditions with actors playing Joel to discover the right person with the best chemistry for her, which was ultimately Troy Baker. Reportedly, the auditionee before Troy actually pushed Johnson to the ground while in character; the event flustered Johnson, who almost retaliated. When Baker walked in, he noticed how Johnson was forcing her smile, instantly feeling a need to take care of her. Subsequently, such fueled into the audition, convincing Johnson that Baker was right to place opposite her.
Johnson remarked how there was just a yellow tape when her and Troy role played the scene where Joel and Ellie have to flee Pittsburgh. She laughed in memory of how they just stepped over it and the producers had to emphasize that they were dropping over fifty feet, not stepping over a ledge. She and Baker were also placed in a cart to recreate the motions of moving in water, both agreeing it "was pretty scary".
Johnson later claimed over commentary of the game of how she "came home with loads of bruises" after finishing the Winter chapter due to having been kicked and slammed during her character's near-death scenes. Neil Druckmann also passed comment of how he "didn't know what [she] was channeling" when acting out her character's murder of fellow actor Nolan North's character David. Johnson jokingly claimed she has "a lot of anger built up inside" her.
In regards to having the opportunity to work with North, as he is famous for being "the closest thing video games have to a bona fide actor", Johnson remarked he "was as good as they say" and that she was "so lucky" to work along side him when they were on set. Johnson also said one her favorite scenes was when David and Ellie briefly fight in the cell, Johnson citing she "likes the dark stuff".
With the reveal of a sequel to The Last of Us, entitled The Last of Us Part II, in December 2016, Johnson is set to reprise her role as a 19-year old Ellie.  At the Q&A panel afterwards, she remarked how she was overjoyed to be working on the sequel. She also admitted that she did sing a rendition of "Through the Valley" herself and how she was very nervous in doing so. Druckmann commented that they had to bring in a professional voice coach to ensure Johnson "sounded worse" and to ensure it was "Ellie's voice, not Ashley's". She also reportedly cried upon learning of the initial plot for The Last of Us Part II from Druckmann, citing it was due to how attached she had become to the characters.
At PSX 2017, Johnson and Baker performed a duet together in their roles as Joel and Ellie respectively. She later discussed the game with Johnson and other actors for The Last of Us Part II, though kept story details vague, although she did remark on how attached she had become to Ellie; more so than any other character she had played.
- ↑ Grounded: Making The Last of Us (Accessed 12 November, 2017)
- ↑ When Ellie met Joel (Accessed 13 November 2017)
- ↑ See in game commentary
- ↑ See the in game commentary of The Last of Us Remastered
- ↑ In game commentary on the Remastered edition
- ↑ Polygon - Ellie returns in new Last of Us
- ↑ PSX Panel
- ↑ The Last of Us Part II: PSX 2017