In what I think qualifies as an unexpected bit of casting, HBO has announced that Catherine O'Hara, known for her work in television and movies including Schitt's Creek, Beetlejuice, and Home Alone, is joining the cast of HBO's The Last of Us in an undisclosed role.
HBO has already made a number of new casting announcements for the second season of The Last of Us, most notably that of Kaitlyn Dever, who's taking on the role of central character Abby. But O'Hara's casting seems especially noteworthy because, quite frankly, it seems so out of character.
O'Hara known primarily for her comedic work, beginning in the mid-'70s on Canadian television (most notably SCTV, for which she won an Emmy Award) and running through her turn as the matriarch of the Rose family in Schitt's Creek (for which she also won an Emmy, along with numerous other awards).
In between, she's appeared in films like Beetlejuice, Home Alone, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, Killers, Frankenweenie, The Addams Family, and a whole bunch more. It's not exclusively comedy (nor is her television work), but it's definitely mostly comedy.
There's not a lot of room for O'Hara's particular brand of oddball humor in The Last of Us, a notably grim series that's going to get a hell of a lot grimmer in its second season. (No spoilers, but if you know, you know.)
But playing against type can be a rewarding diversion, particularly for established actors, and it can sometimes lead to great things: Nick Offerman, who gained fame as the ultra-stoic man's man Ron Swanson in Parks and Recreation, earned an Emmy Award of his own for his acclaimed portrayal of Bill in the third episode of The Last of Us.
It'll be a long wait yet before we get to see how O'Hara fares in this very different sort of role: The Last of Us season 2 doesn't have an air date yet, but it's currently not expected to hit the airwaves until sometime in 2025.