Warning: This post contains spoilers for The Last of Us‘ premiere.
So much of The Last of Us’ story hinges on an event that happened near the start of Sunday’s season premiere. And so much of that big moment rested on the shoulders of Nico Parker. No pressure!
Of course we’re talking about Sarah’s death on Outbreak Day, an achingly sad interlude in which Joel’s teenage daughter is fatally shot by a soldier as she, her dad and her uncle attempt to flee a zombie-esque apocalypse that’s overtaking their city (and, as we later learn, the world. Yeah, it’s a lot. Read a full recap to catch up.)
What’s more, the scene is one that fans of the video game on which the HBO series is based have known and loved for years. Therefore… “I was incredibly stressed,” Parker tells TVLine in the video above. “It’s an iconic moment. I have cried at that moment, myself, prior to even in any way being involved in the show. So I think I was very aware of how important it was to kind of execute it appropriately.”
She also mentions that co-star Pedro Pascal, who plays Joel, had some words of wisdom prior to shooting their big, heartbreaking scene: Don’t watch the video-game version, because “‘it’s going to freak you out,’” she recalls, laughing. “I take his word as the gospel, so I was like, ‘OK! I’m not watching!’”
Press PLAY on the video above to hear Parker go deep on shooting Sarah’s final moments — including the Billie Eilish song that helped her get there — then hit the comments with your thoughts!