‘The Last of Us’ Actor Had the Opportunity to Put a Unique Twist on an Already Beloved Game Character
Published on February 20th, 2023 | Updated on February 20th, 2023 | By FanFest
Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Last of Us, Episode 6: “Kin.”
Episode 5 of The Last of Us left a heartbreaking impression, yet last night (Feb. 19) marked the return with an even more thrilling sixth episode “Kin”. Pedro Pascal gave an awe-inspiring performance as Joel, who reunites with his estranged brother Tommy – whom he’s been separated from for many years. We can’t help but be overwhelmed by this emotional rollercoaster ride that we’ve embarked on!BAfter a fateful meeting in the woods that united Joel and Ellie with a strange troupe of people, they are escorted to Jackson, Wyoming – where the Miller brothers ultimately reunite.
In “Kin”, we are introduced to not only Tommy, but one other well-known character that The Last of Us fans will recognize. This flourishing Jackson is presided over by Maria Miller – played by Rutina Wesley in this version. Most people probably know her as Tara Thornton from True Blood or her appearances on TV shows such as Hannibal and Arrow, but especially for the zombie series The Walking Dead which she had a phenomenal role in.
By casting an African-American actress to play Maria, a character who is white in the games, HBO has again demonstrated its willingness to take risks. Rutina Wesley accepted that daunting responsibility with enthusiasm and courage as she spoke about her experience bringing this beloved character from the game into live action for Entertainment Weekly:
“It’s terrifying playing a character that’s been established, even though it’s a game. But I also was up for the challenge of playing her in my way and putting my energy on it to see what people would think of that.”
From the moment Wesley stepped on stage, she has blown audiences away – and Maria is no exception. Although some fans may have anticipated a different casting pick for this role, Wesley’s steadfast dedication to her part proves that her passion trumps all else! There truly isn’t anything more we could ask of an actress.
All episodes of The Last of Us are streaming now on HBO Max.