To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Entire crew on The Last of Us learnt sign language for Keivonn Woodard

Entire crew on The Last of Us learnt sign language for Keivonn Woodard

Everyone on the crew was keen to communicate with their co-worker

Crew members of The Last Of Us have been praised for learning sign language to ensure their deaf co-worker wasn't excluded from any conversations.

The much-loved HBO show tugs at the heartstrings once again in its fifth episode, when a bond forms between Ellie and Sam, played by Bella Ramsey and Keivonn Woodard, respectively.

Like his character - but unlike the video game version of Sam - Woodard is deaf in real life, and was cast after the creators of the TV show decided to deviate from the video game.

Woodard uses American Sign Language (ASL) to help communicate with others and appears in the series alongside Lamar Johnson, who plays Sam's brother Henry.

Johnson spoke to TV Guide about his desire to make the brothers feel as genuine as possible in the TV show, saying: “I started taking lessons as soon as possible. Leading up to and even during filming I would be training, and I’d be working on my sign so that it can feel as organic as possible.

"Especially with Keivonn — Sam, being deaf in real life — I really wanted that communication to feel organic and authentic.”

Johnson was far from the only member of the show to take on the challenge of learning ASL though - in fact, everyone on the crew is credited with getting involved.

Woodard played Henry's brother Sam in The Last of Us.

Footage featuring interviews with the cast sees star Pedro Pascal explaining how Johnson and Ramsey 'picked up ASL in an instant', while Ramsey herself explained that Woodard, his interpreters and others were 'so willing to help anyone who wanted to learn' that in the end 'all the crew were signing because everyone wanted to communicate and let them know how great they were'.

Woodard's mother, April, said the experience on set was 'incredible', telling the Daily Moth that she was delightfully surprised by how receptive everyone was.

"It was important to me to always be discussing with [Kevin] how he was feeling and how he felt working with his team," she said. "I had the expectations, of course, that him being deaf, I was ready for barriers, and problems to happen, but that was not the case at all!

"I’m thankful we had such a great team that was receptive and motivated along with us. We were very fortunate to have that great team."

Woodard hoped to inspire others after his appearance.

Following his experience, Woodard hoped to inspire other young deaf people, those in Black and Brown deaf communities, or the deaf community as a whole as he commented: "I would say, you don’t have to be afraid! Don’t be afraid to try it out. Because that’s what my parents told me – to not be afraid to try out.

"I was a bit afraid at first, but I went ahead and overcame that, auditioned, and got the role with The Last of Us! I was mind-blown."

The crew has been praised for learning ASL, with one Twitter user describing their actions as the 'sweetest thing ever'.

Featured Image Credit: HBO

Topics: TV And Film, Celebrity