Steven Spielberg was one of the first A-listers to praise “The Last of Us,” according to director Peter Hoar.
The director of episode 3 said so The Hollywood Reporter that series creator Craig Mazin received a letter from the iconic Oscar winner applauding the queer storyline in the third episode, titled “Long, Long Time.”
“Well, I didn’t get it directly, but (an actual letter from Spielberg) it went to Craig Mazin, the writer of my episode in ‘The Last of Us’ — the writer of all the episodes,” Hoar said. “He shared it with myself, Nick Offerman, Murray Bartlett and (cinematographer) Eben Bolter. Basically, a whole bunch of middle-aged men started yelling because their idol figured out who they were.”
Hoar continued, “I think he probably knew who everyone else was, but he didn’t know who I was. And now he’s probably forgotten about it.
The director tackled Mazin’s “universal” storyline in the third episode which features the long-running love story between characters Bill and Frank, played by Offerman and Bartlett, in the midst of an apocalypse.
“Craig may be straight, but he’s got the warmest heart,” Hoar said. “I think that’s partly why he’s so universal, because his focus was on love rather than gender.”
He added, “I’ve had a lot of conversations about the character of Bill (played by Offerman). Everyone says, “Well, Bill is a gay man.” I was like, ‘Well, is that him? He could be. But he didn’t really define himself with those words ». Craig wrote from what he knew, as he had been married for a number of years. He knew the things that ranked the success or failure of a relationship, and that’s what happened. They are universal. I didn’t want it to feel like it was just a bunch of people’s stories. I think if it had been, it wouldn’t have been as successful. It would have felt niche.
Actor Bartlett told IndieWire that a scene in which Bill and Frank taste strawberries for the first time since the outbreak grounded the pivotal episode.
“The cool thing about playing that scene of ‘What if these things aren’t available?’ when you get the chance to suspend your disbelief and really taste a strawberry for the first time, it’s extraordinary,” said Bartlett. “There are such great lessons in this episode and this show about that kind of perspective and appreciation of things. I’m not saying that every strawberry I eat from now on will be an orgasmic experience. But it sure makes me think.