Trans Actor Ari Rombough Wikipedia: Role In The Last Of Us
Ari Rombough is a trans actor and host who has been acting since 2006. They use the pronouns they and them and are non-binary.
The actor made their official television debut in 2010 in the television series Bunny Hug as Nyah.
Since then, they have been part of many TV shows and movies, such as Fargo, Burn Your Maps, Black Summer, Red Letter Day, and Joe Pickett.
They were most recently seen in the hit HBO series The Last of Us, where they played Joyce.
Grab more details on Ari Rombough's personal and professional life here, including their partner, children, medical transition, and more.
Who Is Ari Rombough?
Ari Rombough was born in Calgary and grew up in southern Ontario, in St. Catherine. However, they came back to Banff and spent their high school years there.
The actor and their family are currently based "on unceded Treaty 7 territory in what is colonially known as Canada," according to IMDb.
There are not many details on Rombough's parents and early life. Similarly, their exact age is also not revealed, but they are expected to be in their mid-30s.
Ari grew up watching theater productions behind the scenes and developed a passion for acting. Their biggest desire is to be inspiring and be able to provide opportunities for trans and gender nonconforming performance and creation in the industry.
Also see: Actor/Dancer & Last of Us Alum Kevin Sateri: Biography
A Trans Actor-What Is Their Story?
Ari Rombough is an openly trans actor. They have always tried to share their story with the world to inspire other trans people.
During their interview with Chris Brown at his show, "Cross Border Interviews with Chris Brown," Ari revealed her life story.
When asked about how they found out about being transgender, the actor stated:
You know, one of the things that I recognized fairly early on when I was a kid was that I certainly did not appreciate gendered conditioning. While I was assigned female at birth, and I really enjoyed a lot of things that are, you know, typically associated with being a little girl.
There are also a lot of things that I like to do that are not associated with that, and I was surprised at how much of a struggle it was to participate in those things that weren't typically or stereotypically associated with my gender at birth and how confusing that was for me. I think a lot of cis girls experience that, and I think a lot of cis boys experience that too.
Did I know at the time that that could possibly lead to my being transgender in the future? No, I had no idea, and growing up in St. Catharines, it's not like I had any open trans friends as a kid, and I did not have openly trans adults around me, so I did not think that was an option.
Ari also discussed how they discovered they were trans and accepted their identity. They also revealed that they only had gender dysphoric experiences in their 20s and that the experience and journey are different for every person.
There has been this hyper-focus on a little kid who has been assigned female at birth, for instance, knowing from the time they were born that they were a boy. That was actually not my experience at all. That's partly because I'm non-binary, but we don't have to have experienced gender dysphoria as children for it to be valid.
Ari further stated:
A person can experience gender dysphoria at any time in their life. I try to remind myself and other people that I did not really start having dysphoric experiences until I was in my 20s. Everybody's experience is different, and there is no single way that you can know that you are transgender.
The interviewer also asked them about their process of coming out and transitioning, which is one of the most challenging parts as people are always not accepting and welcoming. Ari also shared their experience and revealed:
My grandfather was an extraordinarily tough individual to have in the family, but he died a long time ago, so a lot of the family kind of became themselves after he died. I was not the first trans person in my family, so there was at least this sort of reaction, but I did see how the family kind of reacted to it.
Obviously, after coming out, they started to thrive in ways that they had not before, but since I was the first adult, there are still family members who don't know, like when I just don't say it or when we just don't talk about it. In fact, I told some new family members before I told my parents.
Similar content: Meet "The Last of Us" Actor Keivonn Woodard: Young Deaf Child Prodigy
Career Highlights: Tv Shows And Movie Roles
Ari Rombough started their career in 2006 and was involved in the Vertigo Theatre Society. The theater is located in Calgary Tower and is home to two performance venues: the BD&P Mystery Theatre and the Y Stage Theatre Series.
They made their official television debut in 2010. They appeared in the television series Bunny Hug as Nyah. They appeared in two episodes-S1.E1: Hot Coffee, and S2. E2: After Math
Then in 2012, Rombough appeared in the drama titled Hiding, starring Ana Villafae and Dan Payne, directed by Thomas J. Wright. They played the role of waitresses.
In 2013, they made an appearance in the movie The Right Kind of Wrong, where they played the role of Cece. Their other movie role was Ally in the 2014 comedy-thriller Ally Was Screaming.
Directed and written by Jeremy Thomas, the film stars stars such as Camille Sullivan, Charlie Carrick, and Giacomo Baessat. Though Ari had a small role, it definitely had an impactful role in the movie, which gave them recognition as an actor.
In 2014 and 2015, Ari played in three short films: Tug, Sleep, and Crowd Pleaser. Also in 2015, they appeared in the TV series Fargo as a teacher. They guest starred in season two, episode ten, titled Palindrome.
The same year, Ari had a recurring role in another TV show, Hug-O-Gram, where they played the role of Sheila. They appeared in three episodes: S1.E1: Mark Rhyne's Hug-O-Gram; S1.E4: The Tongue Twister; and E1.E5: Making the Commercial.
In 2016, they starred as Rebecca in the movie Burn Your Maps. Later, in 2019, Ari made an appearance in the television show Black Summer as a destitute wife. They were in E1.E2, titled Drive.
The same year, they were in a film titled "Red Letter Day." Written and directed by Cameron Macgowan, Ari was one of the leads in the movie. According to IMDb, the movie is about:
"While adjusting to a new life in a quiet suburban community, a recently divorced mother and her two teens receive mysterious red letters instructing them each to kill or be killed."
Similarly, they guest starred in the TV show Jann as Becca. Also in 2021, they made an appearance as Mrs. Aimee Kensinger in the TV show Joe Pickett. They appeared in a season one episode titled Joey, get your gun.
Their upcoming project is the television series titled My Life with the Walter Boys, where they will play the role of Ms. Evans.
Joyce in the TV series The Last of Us
Ari Rombough plays the role of Joyce in the ongoing hit HBO series The Last of Us. The American post-apocalyptic drama series is created by Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann.
The Last of Us is based on the 2013 video game developed by Naughty Dog. The show is about a global pandemic of destruction. "After a global pandemic destroys civilization, a hardened survivor takes charge of a 14-year-old girl who may be humanity's last hope."
The series follows "Joel (Pedro Pascal), a smuggler tasked with escorting the teenage Ellie (Bella Ramsey) across the post-apocalyptic United States."
The show premiered on January 15, 2023, and received huge acclaim from both fans and critics. The pilot was watched by 4.7 million viewers on the first day—the second-biggest for HBO since 2010.
The series was renewed for a second season in January 2023.
Ari Rombough’s Take On Inspirational Queer Actors In The Industry
In their same interview with Chris Brown at the show Cross Border Interviews with Chris Brown Ari Rombough talked about being a role model for trans actors, finding a role in the industry, and its impact.
Bringing up the industry that I'm in is of particular interest because my industry is highly gendered. Acting, like sports, is a very gendered industry, and while there is obviously gender discrimination in all industries, it is one of the few where your job title is "gendered" (as in "actor/actor"), unlike lawyers or doctors, who would never have that title.
So obviously, wanting to be an actor as young as I wanted to get into the industry did deeply influence my transition.
And I would say that it's not that there were no role models we had; it's just like there was this tiny space that sort of craved out specifically for the queer community and pop culture. When I was growing up, Katie Lang was a big deal to me because she was an open lesbian.
Ari then also talked about having a role model in the industry for queer children.
But, at the same time, Katie Lang was this open lesbian, which I knew and appreciated, and I also knew that my grandfather, who was a musician, stopped listening to her music when she came out.
So you have this constant back-and-forth pull of feeling like you've found something—a community, or a part of something—only to have it knocked down by the people around you or the circumstances, and then any empowerment you might gain from that person or that experience just kind of gets squashed down, and I think that describes a lot about the queer experience.
One of the most difficult challenges for any trans person after accepting their identity is the medical transition. It is a mental, physical, and financial strain that takes a toll on an individual.
Ari Rombough began medically transiting in the 2020s and has been quite open about her journey. They have shared their journey on social media, talking about the transition.
In October 2022, the actor shared a picture of their past and wrote a blog post about their transition.
When I see photos of myself from before, I personally don't hate them. I see aspects of who I have always been and always will be. I anticipate feeling more comfortable exploring my femme side again now that my top surgery is (almost) done and after taking testosterone for over a year.
In the before time, a lot of my experience was more about me not even knowing what I was missing. I didn't know dressing up masc, taking T, having top surgery even belonged to me because of all the misconceptions I had about what it "took" to be trans.
Ari further wrote:
But once I did try it, that's when it clicked. Sometimes just putting on "masc" clothing would make me weep - weep with joy and happiness and grief for what I had been missing.
They further wrote about their experience:
Throughout my visits to health facilities in the past two months, I have been misgendered the entire time. Chris tried to advocate for me but I told them not to bother. Being as sick as I was, was exhausting enough and I worry I could come across a bigot who may alter my treatment if they learn I'm trans.
I still refer to my surgery as a breast reduction when detailing my medical history to avoid this potential discrimination. And while this has tested me physically and emotionally I always, always consider the privileges I hold and how they shield me from worse treatment or harm.
I spiraled the other day, blaming myself for being a poor example of medical transition because I had life threatening issues. I've pivoted - because if anything my situation proves how important it is to have free, accessible healthcare for all people to keep us all safe, healthy, and protected.
Arielle Rombough also organized a fundraiser for their top surgeries, which are very expensive. As per the surgery, a top surgery costs $8,000–$10,000.
On their gofundme page, they wrote:
I've made the difficult decision to crowd fund my top surgery. While gender affirmation surgery is covered in Alberta, there are limitations which are putting stress on myself and my family. For one, the wait list is min 1-3 years. Like many trans folks, now that I've come out and am taking hormones, I'm finding myself feeling more dysphoria around my chest (and I thought the opposite would happen - darn!).
Secondly, I was put on the wait list for, as my doc put it, not "the best" surgeon but one with a shorter waitlist. I'm not certain I feel comfortable with this prospect. Finally, I'm a part of a family of four who need me in good health and able to work in order to contribute to our overall family income.
My testosterone ($30/month) is not covered by Alberta Health or my Alberta Works insurance (Alberta Works is for low income families). My Propesca is fortunately covered as well as my antidepressants (yay!). I also invested in a $1400 human hair wig for film/tv/theatre auditions where I will need to have long hair. The $2000 I've added to my goal to cover my testosterone in the coming years, income support for the time I will be off work, and the wig.
Husband And Children
Ari Rombough is happily married and a parent of two. Their husband's name is Chris, and according to them, they got married in 2008 after knowing each other for only five weeks.
The couple has been together through thick and thin, and Chris has supported Ari in everything, including their transition.
They once shared a picture of her partner on their 14th wedding anniversary, congratulating him and thanking him for all the love and support he has given them over the years.
Sooooo, we were so distracted on surgery day (Oct 5th) we forgot that it was our 14 year anniversary! I've been married to this gorgeous, loveable, funny human for 14 years.
That's right kiddos, we got married in 2008! Exactly 5 weeks after our first coffee date (which wasn't even supposed to be a "date", just a friendly hang out) we eloped. I was 23, which means I've almost spent half my life with Chris.
Talk about being there for me in good times and in bad - between my five year battle with PTSD, ongoing alcohol recovery, two pregnancies and kids, and now a medical transition of my gender including life threatening complications?? Holy moly did I get lucky 😍 Maybe it's the post op opioids talking but I don't think we'd be here 14 years later if it was 😜 Gosh I love you babe.
The adorable pair has two children both sons- Nigel and Lennox.