Warning: This story contains mild spoilers for Episode 7 of HBO’s ‘The Last of Us’.
“The Last of Us” newcomer Storm Reid “will never understand” the homophobic response to the hit HBO series inspired by the video game of the same name.
In an interview with Variety published on Sunday, Reid preemptively fired anyone who might object to the fledgling love story at the heart of her debut episode. Her comments echoed those of her “Last of Us” co-star, Bella Ramsey, who previously told GQ that haters who decry the show’s LGBTQ storylines are “missing out.”
“I think Bella put it perfectly a few weeks ago, ‘If you don’t like it, don’t watch,'” Reid told Variety.
“There are so many other things to worry about in the world. I think being concerned about who people love is just absurd to me. … I do not get it.”
The latest episode of “The Last of Us,” which premiered Sunday night on HBO, introduces Reid as Ellie’s (Ramsey) rebellious best friend and childhood sweetheart, Riley. During the flashback episode, Riley takes Ellie on an impromptu date to an abandoned mall where the girls explore the abandoned shops and their growing feelings for each other.
“Despite what people are going to say, if they don’t like it, I think there will be a lot more people who appreciate it. A lot more people feel represented, seen and heard,” Reid told Variety.
That’s what counts. That’s where the work comes in. And that’s when it’s appreciated, and you prioritize looking at those tweets instead of the not-so-great ones.
The rising TV stars (Ramsey landed her breakout role on “Game of Thrones” and Reid is known for her work on “Euphoria”) also discussed their approach to some of the episode’s most pivotal scenes — including (spoiler alert!) Ellie and Riley’s first kiss.
“I kind of felt like myself when we were filming it: My heart was beating faster and my palms were getting sweaty, because we were so immersed in what we were doing,” Ramsey said. “It gets real between action and cut.”
“When you’re in love with someone, you think, ‘I don’t know if they like me back! I don’t know how I feel!’” she added. “The way that is shown and translated into a story like this is so cool.”
Ramsey continues to address the discourse surrounding the depiction of LGBTQ characters in the post-apocalyptic drama. After the third installment of the series — which focused on strangers turned lovers Bill and Frank — received overwhelmingly positive and some hateful comments online, Ramsey told GQ she wasn’t “particularly concerned about” internet trolls trying to bring the show down. down.
“People will think what they want to think. But they will have to get used to it,” Ramsey said earlier this month. “If you don’t want to see the show because it has gay storylines, because it has a trans character, that’s on you.”
“It won’t scare me,” she added. “I think that comes from a place of defiance.”