'The Last of Us' actress Storm Reid isn't concerned with homophobic fans

'The Last of Us' actress Storm Reid isn't concerned with homophobic fans

The homophobic outrage to “Long, Long Time,” episode 3 of HBO’s The Last of Us, was as foreboding as it was sad. The love story between Murray Bartlett’s Frank and Nick Offerman’s Bill led some viewers who were offended by its portrayal of a gay relationship to review-bomb the hour of television on aggregator sites like Metacritic.

Storm Reid acknowledges that the anticipated homophobic reaction did cross her mind as the release of her own featured episode, which would have more significant LGBT representation, approached. The 19-year-old actress, though, is unconcerned about it.

In reference to her co-star Bella Ramsey‘s comments to GQ U.K., Reid said in an interview with EW that, “Like Bella said when episode 3 came out: If you don’t like it, don’t watch.”

“We are telling important stories. We’re telling stories of people’s experiences, and that’s what I live for. That’s what makes good storytelling, because we are telling stories of people who are taking up space in the world,” she continued.

Ellie and Riley’s story (spoilers ahead)

Reid makes her The Last of Us debut as Riley in episode 7, which serves as a sort of genesis story for Ramsey’s Ellie. The episode jumps back to when Ellie was undergoing training to become a FEDRA soldier in the Boston QZ, based on the events of Left Behind, a DLC released for 2013’s The Last of Us video game.

When the episode starts, Riley, her roommate and best friend, has been AWOL for a few weeks. Then, one night, Riley sneaks back in via Ellie’s dorm room window.

Riley wants to spend one one special night with Ellie before joining the Fireflies and departing Boston. Ellie and Riley share their first kiss after they break into an abandoned mall and hang out on the carousel, arcade, “moving stairs,” and picture booth.

The episode is a fairly accurate recreation of the Left Behind DLC. Reid, who has appeared in Euphoria and Missing, claims that the episode wasn’t about changing Riley’s personality.

Reid had no prior understanding of the games or their history when he entered the world of The Last of Us. She read the script and then looked up the source material because she felt like this was a huge deal. She was drawn to the show more so because of the depiction.

“I’m sure people are gonna have things to say on Sunday,” she says, “but I don’t care because I’m proud of what we did and I’m proud of the story that we told and I’m proud of the people that we’re representing,” said Reid.


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