Skip to main content

Bella Ramsey on Lena Dunham: ‘She Encourages Me to Take Care of Myself’

The Last of Us star calls the writer-director-actor a “guiding light” who’s not afraid to “stand up and speak out for what she needs”
Jeff Vespa

F OR ROLLING STONE’S THIRD annual Icons & Influences feature, we asked eight of our favorite artists and entertainers to pay tribute to the women who have inspired them, in life as well as in their careers. The Last of Us star Bella Ramsey reflects on her “role model,” writer, director, and Girls creator Lena Dunham.

Lena and I were introduced through Nina Gold, the casting director for [Lena’s 2022 movie] Catherine Called Birdy. We met and instantly had a connection. I think everyone feels an instant warmth just radiating out of her. My first impression was that she had so much energy and was so curious about me. 

On set, Lena created such a positive environment where everybody was equally valued, whether that be from the dolly grip to the camera grip to the executive producer. Everyone was given the same time of day and the same value. It was such a nice environment to be in. Nobody ever felt like they weren’t supposed to be there. She makes everybody feel like they’re essential in the process. I remember standing there, just watching her completely command the set and this big, tired, exhausted crew with such grace and kindness. She’s quite incredible.

She encourages me a lot and advocates to take care of myself. I think self-care is something that both Lena and I struggle with. She’s been a really good role model in learning how to take care of yourself, especially within a busy on-set working environment. I know she struggles with chronic illness, so to watch her stand up and speak out for what she needs and not be ashamed, but actually to share those needs with the people around her is amazing. She’s a total inspiration.

She’s simultaneously calming in a complete whirlwind, and it’s quite incredible to be in her presence and be wonderfully, aggressively bombarded with her energy in the best way. She’s so ambitious and has so many plans. She seems to have 10 projects on the go at once. I’m excited to see the results of all those things and to continue to have her as a constant and comforting guiding light.

You might also like